Massive earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 shattered buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand. There’s been a recovery effort since then, as construction crews have gone around and dismantled cracked and busted buildings. Now the refurbishment of haggard structures has gotten artist Mike Hewson involved. After his remarkable Homage To The Lost Spaces installations in 2012, he’s followed up in Christchurch with these massive installations. These are covering the reconstruction of the damaged buildings throughout the city, creating enormous optical illusions.
Hewson, whom we’ve been a fan of for quite some time, uses a kind of large-scale wallpaper to plaster the wrecked facades. According to The Atlantic for a piece titled Deconstruction, Hewson used 72-foot vinyl sheeting to blaster an elevated walkway that had been quarantined by the military for 857 days. The artwork will stand there until 2014, when the structure is replaced. The result is buildings that appear to float in the sky, overhead walkways that dissolve into the ether, or the illusion that now abandoned buildings are still active. Though kind of sad for the context, it also brings levity to the situation—or perhaps a sense of impermanence, a commentary on the impermanence of everything.