David Bloomer

The Carlton (Photographic print 116 x 136 cm)

The Carlton (Photographic print 116 x 136 cm)

Artist's Statement

The concrete high-speed track located at the Armscor testing facility outside Pretoria has rich associations with South Africa’s clandestine apartheid past. Once operating as an instrument of government to carry out weapon procurement, it was an integral component of the military and industrial complex that played an important role in sustaining apartheid. Although activities associated with armaments ceased, on this site, on 1 April 1992, the location is still imbued with the secrecy of what took place there during the apartheid era.

Similarly, the Carlton Hotel, once the haven of the rich and famous and a symbol of the opulent privileged white classes, now reveals a derelict structure stripped of all its ostentatious former glory. While elements of decay are clearly visible, my focus and concern relate to the concrete steadfast structure that remains intact. Although these two concrete structures no longer hold the status they once did, in their heyday, revealing signs of decay, they are still imbued with the energy and association of a powerful hierarchical past that is suggestive of an idealism that still holds strong today.

Artist's Biography

Born: Cape Town, 1971. Lives and works in Cape Town. Received his Diploma in Fine Art from the Foundation School of Art. Major exhibitions: AVA, Cape Town.