In his project Terminal Mirage, David Maisel intentionally obscures the function, location, scale, and condition of his subject.
No title names the Great Salt Lake or its environs as his subject. His images all share exquisite abstract colorations and design. A few pictures are obviously landscapes. Others are so lacking in items that identify scale they might be images of deteriorating walls or macro photographs of laboratory dishes. As he intends, we are first engaged by the beauty that dances across these large scale prints. Then myriad questions arise: Who or what created what we see in these views? The answers are neither easily explained nor universally confirmed, and the answers are less interesting to Maisel than the questions and discussions the pictures might evoke.
David Maisel’s large-scaled, otherworldly photographs chronicle the complex relationships between natural systems and human intervention, piecing together the fractured logic that informs them both.
Maisel’s aerial images of environmentally impacted sites explore the aesthetics and politics of open pit mines, clear-cut forests, and zones of water reclamation, framing the issues of contemporary landscape with equal measures of documentation and metaphor.