Jim Naughten’s latest project takes the viewer back in time to fabled place, which may or may not have ever existed. Acting as an explorer, scientist and photographer Naughten has documented a world that existed in the popular consciousness for over a hundred years.
The Mountains of Kong could be found on the worlds most prestigious maps of Africa from 1798 through to the late 1880s when they were finally declared to be non-existent. Naughten has created a series of stereoscopic images that tell a very different story as he imagines a fictitious record made for posterity and scientific purposes during an expedition to the mountain range. The resulting images are viewable in three dimensions by using the same stereoscopic technology made popular in the late 1800s which allowed Victorians to travel to the four corners of the world whilst sitting at home in their armchairs. Naughten presents us with the evidence for the existence of the mythical kingdom in irrefutable three-dimensional form.
Jim Naughten says: “In the Mountains of Kong I discover extraordinary, otherworldly landscapes, encounter strange exotic creatures that dwell in a parallel universe. A magical Shangri-La ruled by animals. The work aims to be engaging and playful but also functions as a comment on the mutability of history and our ever evolving and malleable relationship with the past”
Michael Hoppen Gallery