Cornerhouse is pleased to present a new collaborative show by artist duo Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan. Cairo - The breaking up of the ice showcases stunning new film Cairo, alongside a series of drawings, found objects and other ephemera relating to the writings of 19th Century artist, ornithologist and frontiersman John James Audubon and present day Cairo.
Filmed in the depths of winter during the artist’s expeditions to the American Midwest, Cairo contrasts Audubon’s vivid tale of the time he spent stranded at the frozen meeting points of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, with its present day location - the desolate historic town of Cairo.
In this film, Cartwright and Jordan beautifully contrasts the Southern Illinois town’s once prosperous past to its largely abandoned and derelict present - referencing themes of human exploration, species extinction, and economic rise and fall.
‘Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan have provoked a confrontation between the Romantic legacy of Audubon’s words with contemporary images of places Audubon once limned. ‘Cairo,’ ‘West Point,’ and ‘New Madrid’ are dramas of the transformation of place into space, but they are not without their mercy. There is something gently cartographic about their camera’s approach to landscape and vistas, undercut as it is by the intrusion of the bridges, tunnels, and railway tracks that insistently mark the modernity that Audubon came to lament.’
Devin Zuber, Assistant Professor, Institute for English and American Studies, University of Osnabruck