24. May 2013 07:29
In September 2010, New York-based visual artist and filmmaker Rä di Martino set out on a quest to photograph and document old abandoned film sets in the North African deserts of Tunisia. The project had started when she discovered that it was common practice to abandon these sets without tearing them down, leaving them fully intact and crumbling over time, like archeological ruins. Martino spent that month traveling around Chott el Djerid in Tunisia, finding and photographing three Star Wars sets in all for her photo series No More Stars and Every World’s a Stage.
Showcasing the aging yet familiar architecture of George Lucas's universe, Martino's photographs strike at the heartstrings of any nostalgic Star Wars fan:
"I think is very interesting the amazing poetic potential of those ruins, being ruins of something that was the future in our imagination," Martino explained in an email to The Huffington Post. "It's bewildering to see the biological decay of those cheap materials, which once built perfect images of our past and future."
Martino first decided to venture to Tunisia after seeing an image on Google Earth referencing the abandoned set of "The English Patient." Intrigued by the startling discovery, the artist researched further, learning that several Star Wars sets had been all but abandoned in the middle of the Chott el Djerid desert.
In 2010, she used Google Maps as her guide and set forth on a cinematic archaeological adventure in the Tunisian dunes that resulted in "Ruins in Reverse," an exhibit on view now at London's Tate Modern.