The Vault Series
Vári has had a long-term interest in the idea of fantastical and allegorical landscapes, and in this series has constructed virtual landscapes out of real cartographical material. In particular, she used Google Earth to hover low over the her home city of Johannesburg and then constructed views towards the four cardinal directions (due North, due South, and so on). Each image features the night sky, overlaid with sky maps of the Southern Hemisphere as it appears at specific times of the year, namely Solstice and Equinox.
Into these landscapes, she has placed her own figure, massive in scale relative to the landscape. The figures are ambiguous, uncanny apparitions that, in contrast to the contemporary technologies out of which the land- and starscapes have been derived, hark back to a primordial world of shamanic myth and magic.
“Vault” primarily refers to the great dome of the sky, and the enormous fascination it has always held for humans in their understanding of the world and their place in it, from lore and ritual to philosophy and astronomy. However, this series also references the way in which memory and information is kept safe, be it through the ancient traditions of oral history, all the way through to the present technologies through which we preserve and share our narratives, histories and all data from the human genome to the latest economic trends.
One of Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. In this series Vári suggests that however far advanced and sophisticated our world becomes, a very primeval impulse always lurks below.
The Vault Series
Four prints, 595mm x 763mm each
Pigment ink on cotton fibre paper