When the pandemic first led to lock-downs, in March of 2020, we had just started a month in an AirBnB in St Petersburg Florida and I thought all the empty parking lots were a telling sign of the times. Since then, I am always struck by the wide open expanses of empty parking lots, so well evoked by Joni Mitchell’s famous song, Big Yellow Taxi. Below are a couple more from the same walk around Farnham in early August.
The NHS sent me for an annual blood test at the local hospital. Outside I found this sculpture surrounding a mirrored globe in the car park. I’m not sure what it’s about but I had to see what it would look like in a photograph.
There’s just something about empty, lonely parking spaces…. or are they places? Or heterotopias?
We arrived in Plymouth and before even leaving the car park I tried one more time to rephotograph my text images on location. Still not doing anything for me. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.
Then, when we left the car park, we realised we were not in the most salubrious part of town.
More spaces and places. See last post for definitions of places, spaces and heterotopia. Click any image to see them all enlarged.
We arrived in Margate the first week of April, well out of the season so it was really empty, especially in the morning.
In my course we studied the difference between images and pictures, things and objects, spaces and places; where the first item in each pair merely is, whereas the latter has some human significance or meaning.
A heterotopia, again according to Wikipedia, is a concept elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe certain cultural, institutional and discursive spaces that are somehow ‘other’: disturbing, intense, incompatible, contradictory or transforming. Heterotopias are worlds within worlds, mirroring and yet upsetting what is outside. In my limited experience of reading about heterotopia, the term is extremely elastic, not to say nebulous, in the way it’s thrown about in art criticism.
Click any image to see them all full-sized.
Empty parking lots exert a strange attraction for me.
I’m not sure this quite conveys the quality of light – the leaves were glowing golden and the shopping carts shining silvery in the late afternoon sun. I stopped quickly and shot a few frames, trying to capture the brightness of the scene.