Calm describing the absence of violent or confrontational activity within a place.

Equilibrium being the state of rest or balance due to the equal action of any opposing forces, powers, or influences.

Calm Equilibrium is an outdoor time based installation by Cate Duckwall. Utilizing video, animation, and installation, Calm Equilibrium investigates the state that Earth would eventually reach after thousands of years without human impact. Throughout the work, Duckwall explores themes of reclamation and reckoning through depicting scenes that live in a slow, yet constant state of expansion. As time passes, nature is reclaiming the space that was once used and abused by people. While the trace of our existence is extensive, it will eventually be swallowed up. Calm Equilibrium explores the seductive nature of the future and challenges us to look at the world with a more delicate eye.

The world thought they got a glimpse of a better reality during the early days of the pandemic lockdown. Everyone thought it was as if nature had hit the reset button with these subtle, yet quick improvements happening within the environment. While these reports of prospering wildlife and cleaner air were eventually debunked, they gave people something to dream on during a time where all hope was lost.

If the coronavirus pandemic were to rapture us away, everything else on Earth would remain intact- and perhaps begin the process of healing. After a series of month-long blazes, floods, and combustions, the world would start to slow down, reaching a state described as calm equilibrium. This stage may partially resemble the world that existed before us as well as a world that gave nature another chance.

401 W. Broad Street  has a unique structure, having a northern facade taking a crescent shape which pans across the entire block it occupies. The building is a one-story, stuccoed brick building in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The property itself was used as a filling station until 1936. After which it existed as Moore’s Autobody Shop for 70 years, becoming one of Richmond’s longest running black owned businesses. Since closing in early 2016, the property has remained vacant. It is an area that many notice in passing; However, it holds silent beauty as it is slowly being overturned and overgrown by nature in the heart of downtown Richmond. As urban life is constantly expanding, Moore’s Autobody Shop remains still.

The concept of examining the state of calm equilibrium encourages people to look at the world more delicately. As humans, we have a disastrous impact on a world that truly does not belong to us. We must ask ourselves, where do we fit in a state of calm equilibrium

More documentation coming soon!

©️ 2022 by cate duckwall