Artist's Statement

Nicolas Block

11x14 pigment prints

This is a project about the concept of physical and pictorial space in contemporary thought, art and photography. The way we think of empty space is fundamentally informs the way we treat the space around us. The project began with a very gray polaroid of a vast empty lot and a note in my journal: “The place appears 'empty' as an image and empty as a place”. I set out to make more photographs along those lines, with the activist intention of proving with photographs that empty space wasn't worthless space. Paradoxically, I found these places mostly on military bombing ranges, where I photographed flat expanses of sand -- ground that had been officially declared worthless. The project explores several other types of space: positive and negative space illustrated by sets of lava cave openings and lava rocks from the caves, pictorial space in the form of flat painting-like images of roadside debris, and the space of distance in aerial views of vast expanses of earth.