An Idea Called Tomorrow


Graham Goddard
November 25, 2009, 9:11 pm
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Graham Goddard – Paradigm, 2009

Image of "Paradigm" by Graham Goddard

Paradigm is designed to investigate its surrounding environment as an object consisting of a process of ongoing relationships between man and nature while addressing our ecological responsibility towards a healthy environment tomorrow.

Graham Goddard will place Paradigm in multiple locations that are at risk and affected by pollution, such as mountains, deserts and watersheds. The next location that the artist aims to install Paradigm in is Ballona Creek, a toxic watershed in Southern California.

Paradigm aspires to ensure that Ballona Creek is no longer seen as “a thing-in-itself,” but instead as a physical region consisting of layered evidence of multiple issues that need attention and support so that it can become a cleaner and healthier environment. Eight shapes will be placed in Ballona Creek – each dedicated to a toxin found in it, such as Cyanide, Coliform Bacteria, Copper, Zinc, etc., according to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Santa Monica Bay Watershed Management Area summery in 2009. The toxins are currently discharged into the Pacific Ocean affecting the wildlife and quality of the water, resulting in an acute health risk for humans swimming, surfing and eating the fish. The grouping will investigate the space in which the water is held and the relationship of its contents to the surrounding community. The work will have a universal aesthetic while trapping trash that flows down the creek. Paradigm will be an example of our capacity to impact and control nature’s elements while exposing the environment’s desperate need for our constructive intervention.

Graham Goddard’s work will also encourage new ways of seeing a familiar landscape and explore our preconceived notions of what a “Creek” is or should be. The work’s abstract aesthetic will challenge the theoretical validity of the Picturesque, introduced by William Gilpin in 1782, by exploring the dialectic between the physical landscape and its temporal context. Paradigm’s presence will also amplify the creek’s characteristics, such as algae and objects of pollution found on the site, which have transformed Ballona Creek into a landscape that is layered with the evidence of natural growth, weathering and the perverse signs of destructive human behavior.

Image of "Paradigm" by Graham Goddard

Graham Goddard is a conceptual artist living and working in Los Angeles. He was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in New York after his family immigrated to the United States in 1989. Goddard received art training from the University of Southern California (BFA), Rockland Center for the Arts, Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts.

Recent exhibitions include “Inside My Head: Innovative Artists of African Descent” at the California African American Museum, “Goddard, Gladding and Mackie” at Horizons Gallery in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, “Kisskadee” at Sargent’s Fine Art Gallery in Maui, Hawaii, and “365 and Counting” at Avenue 50 in Los Angeles.

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