On the Back of the Sun
2019

The rooftop is an axis mundi between the earth and sky. The ancient dome is a visible and democratic site of societal importance, while the contemporary flat roof is the utilitarian, invisible currency of our age. No matter its shape, the roof is a site of drama, of waste, of half-finished projects and desires - for who would pass up the chance to get on their building’s roof to see the skyline? The roof is an anti-text, a hidden space where societal gestures take place above the thick and thin of the urban sprawl. The roof is littered with systems: HVAC, chimney, AC, vent, sattelite, watertank. They are in contrasts with its use, if its users can reach it. Often the traces of these acts of opposition to these systems are left behind. From a bird’s eye view this series of images offers a map, a disconnected landscape dotted with traces of action. It is a cartography, an inverted sky. Here is a star chart for a horizontal astrology. In these images, the surfaces of roofs demand space once again. Seeing them from above might reveal their functional purpose, but their mysteries remains hidden on the back of the sun.




© Doug Dumais 2020
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