Entering the awe-inspiring underground alembic of Avon cosmetics architect Gerry Anderson, Juno Calypso begin a morbidly alluring area absolutely adapted to her interests and aesthetic
Under the aback garden of an accustomed ancestors home in Las Vegas is an amazing 16,000 sq ft, all-pink, bomb-proof bunker. Inside are corrupt bedrooms busy with clear chandeliers and babyish blush wallpaper, and a bathrooms with a hot-pink toilet, white marble hot tub, and abundant aureate fittings. Surrounding the abode is a hand-painted mural of the countryside, and an underground garden with a pond basin and affected copse growing out of a carpeting that stands in for grass.
“It’s basically a abode aural a house,” explains Juno Calypso, who spent three canicule of confinement in the bunker, for her activity What To Do With A Million Years. Designed to be safe from any adversity or intruder, the alembic was congenital in 1964 by Avon cosmetics architect Gerry Anderson and his wife, who were abashed of a abeyant nuclear blemish in the appearance of the algid war.
Calypso is currently assuming the alternation at London’s TJ Boulting gallery, and has adapted the basement amplitude into a adaptation of the garden, complete with affected plants, awesome affection lighting, and a soundtrack of bendable adventurous bedrock that plays adjoin the affiliated complete of active baptize from a bean bubbler in the corner.
“It fits the affection of the photographs,” she says as we sit below the arches of a white garden arbour, affected ivy dangling aloft our active and Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh arena in the background. “All the songs are about acquisitive afterwards someone. It’s sad but bittersweet, there’s an absurdity to it”.
After seeing an commodity about a “time-capsule home” that had been awash to a “mystery group”, Calypso tracked bottomward the owners and organised a visit. “It’s weird, I clicked on a articulation and again I was absolutely there,” she says. Because it is absolutely underground, the alembic has adjustable lighting controls that set the arena from dark to dawn.
“Sleeping bottomward there was creepy,” says Calypso. “When you about-face all the lights off it’s angle black, by the end I aloof kept all the lights on, all the time.” Afterwards three accomplished canicule of alive on her own, Calypso took a breach to travel, and on her acknowledgment absitively to break in a adjacent auberge instead.
What she didn’t apperceive afore accession was that this “mystery group” was a aggregate of scientists who abstraction the canning of animal life. Afterwards accession at the alembic Calypso apparent pamphlets and magazines about the latest advancements in cryogenic freezing, aeon and preservation, capacity of which she has printed in her bound copy A5 zine of the series, which additionally includes advice on the bunker’s antecedent owners, bi-weekly clippings, and Calypso’s own photographs.
“It was absolute – I’ve done adorableness and gender roles, so let me aloof move assimilate addition cliche, death,” jokes Calypso, who won BJP‘s International Photography Award in 2016 with a activity alleged Joyce on the architecture of femininity. “In a way, it’s all affiliated because it wasn’t aloof about technology but it was about bistro blueberries, actuality healthy, and anti-ageing”.
Eternal activity became the axial affair of What To Do With A Million Years, consistent in a alternation of abstracted photographs that occasionally blooper into nightmare. The shots are audibly voyeuristic, featuring Calypso’s legs captivated in tin-foil, her face buried abaft a adverse adorableness mask, and several images attempt through the windows from the garden.
The final compositions are altogether affected and lit, but authoritative them was beneath glamorous, involving Calypso “in a bathrobe gown, angled over with a wig on, activity aback and alternating from the camera to the atom like a bad-tempered old woman”. She says the assignment would be easier, and beneath lonely, if she had a team, but has never capital to assignment that way.
“I’ve never done this about addition person,” she says. “I apprehend about that abreast and confinement is the abandoned abode that fantasy can booty place. Actuality abandoned is the abandoned time you can set off that close cinema.”
The finishing blow to the accession is a pit of dust spelling out “SEX” in blush stones – apparently, the additional buyer of the abode was a man alleged Tex, who added a agnate affection to the Las Vegas house. In fact, if you blazon “3970 Spencer St, Las Vegas” into Google maps and zoom in on accessory mode, you can still see SEX accounting in the sand, appropriate alfresco the accomplish to the bunker.
www.junocalypso.com What To Do With A Million Years is on affectation till 23 June at the TJ Boulting Gallery, London www.tjboulting.com The abutting copy of BJP’s International Photography Award will accessible for entries in September www.bjpipa.com
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