CHLOE SELLS: MEASURING INFINITY
There is a place on earth that can be seen from space like a white splash across the darker skin of the surrounding land. The albino mark looks like something that has been forgotten. There is no green of tree cover. There is no blue of water. There is no brown of soil. It is emptiness. This is the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, a vast area in the heart of the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. Chloe Sells has been photographing there for the last two years. In her new body of work, Measuring Infinity, Sells interprets the sublime and mysterious nature of this area.
These contemplative images consider the finite and the infinite. The horizon line, which scores the center of the photographs, is at once recognition of what is fixed and determinate while simultaneously portraying a feeling of what is deeply abiding. If one were to chase the horizon around the earth’s circumference they would one day end up in the very same place they stand in this moment. An awareness of the cycle of life and death and how it is affected by time is embedded in this stark demarcation.
There is play between the immutable and the supple and Sells embroiders them through her process. To create her images she uses a large format camera and prints in a darkroom. Her process incorporates alchemic experimentation. Each outcome is unique. Beyond her darkroom interventions, Sells has drawn or painted on each of the works in Measuring Infinity. Through her mark making she works to describe the underlying affinity and resonance she feels in the place. As Sells works the story of the Makgadikgadi changes like a kaleidoscope with each telling.