Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pluto Park and the Forbidden Planet

Here's that same water pipe in Pluto Park from two blogs previous. I call this place Pluto Park, because the iron girders remind me of the way old science fiction films depicted the urban landscape in far-off colonised planets. An industrial look was common but deliberately "made strange" to connote the future. I do recall that the the classic film, Forbidden Planet, itself a take on Macbeth, displayed a kind of industrial-technological look. In maybe the same way, Pluto Park has retained elements of the old factories on who's site it now stands and so provides continuity for a once dynamic industrial area that has seen considerable degeneration. An amble along the elevated walkways, surrounded by marching ranks of industrial girders can be stunning. Yet iron suggests strength and harshness, especially since in this location it has been allowed to retain its rusty orange colour. And although iron is associated with darkness, the girders lend power to whatever scene they grace. It's a nice counterpoint to the lawns, trees and ponds that nestle beside the large housing projects in this part of the city. When I was looking for a photo feature to portray a gateway to another planet, I used one of these iron structures in a collage. It looked rather fitting - a proper Stargate. So perhaps it's Planet Earth that's colonised by ourselves and we paint our future in terms of our own symbolic past. Maybe this is the Forbidden Planet.