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Press release:

SPACE / RETAIL / MAGIC a photographic installation by Eva Merz SPACE/RETAIL/MAGIC reflects concerns about supermarket developments in rural areas, focusing on the sustainability of large-scale supermarket buildings, the visual impact they have on our communities, not only through the buildings they create and leave behind but also the opportunities and spaces they can destroy. . In three large-scale photographic collages Merz depicts three sites in the rural northeast of Scotland. Each of the sites is in a different stage relating to supermarket developments. MARKET MUIR, Huntly, is a green field, which was put up for sale for a supermarket development by Aberdeenshire Council. The local people protested against the selling of their public football and rugby field, the Council finally cancelled the project and the site remains the people’s green playing field. TESCO, Inverurie, is a boarded-up supermarket with graffiti and an empty car park, abandoned when Tesco built a new and much bigger outlet just across the road. The store was modern not so long ago, but in supermarket terms it’s ancient, which tells something about the speed in which the supermarkets develop. SUPERSTORE, Elgin, is a brand-new, huge 24-hour superstore, which has replaced a smaller outlet just across the road in Elgin town centre. The parking lot is enormous; no space has been wasted for trees and flowerbeds like the old Tesco in Inverurie had. The three large-scale photographic collages (200 by 400 cm) each contain around 1000 single images. With a multifarious range of perspectives the collages show the whole sites as well as revealing the smallest details, exploring the “spaces” thoroughly. As part of the project Merz is publishing a book containing an interview with Joanna Blythman, author of “SHOPPED, The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets”. The interview focuses on a series of issues from politics and planning permissions to independent businesses and trading competition to farmers’ and producers’ problems to food quality and the British shopping culture. Eva Merz is a Danish artist who has lived and worked in Scotland since 2003, when she came to Huntly to do a residency with Deveron Arts. Her project EMPTY SHOP/MODERN MONUMENT, dealing with the concerns of the decline of independent businesses in Huntly was also the starting point for SPACE/RETAIL/MAGIC. For more information, the artist’s CV or images please contact:

Eva Merz, phone: 01224 582622 – e-mail: eva.merz@tiscali.co.uk


Deveron Arts, phone: 01466 794494 – e-mail: deveronarts@aol.com Limousine Bull; phone: 01224 877001 – e-mail: art@limousinebull.plus.com


eva merz Space retail magic press release