© 2023 David Parker

Broken Images

“We live, today, in a terminal moraine of myths and mythic symbols, fragments
large and small of traditions that formerly inspired and gave rise to civilizations”.

In 1987 David Parker began work on Broken Images: The Figured Landscape of Nazca, his first foray into the mythic landscape. On a plateau in the Atacama desert of Peru, just outside the modern town of Nazca, is a vast pre-Columbian archaeological ‘tapestry’ with spectacular geoglyphs etched into its surface: webs of criss-crossed lines, some as long as 27km, and sophisticated images of animals, only properly visible from the air, therefore out of reach to most of Nazca's inhabitants.

The civilisation that created these mysterious ciphers is long gone, but the enigmatic character of the Nazca Lines, with their World Heritage status, continues to drive many academic studies and a significant international tourist industry. This ‘Pampa’, and the commerce it generates, have become a veritable Babel of mythic and religious iconography. Utiliising a reportage style and mixing ancient, modern, sacred and profane, David Parker’s photographs are witness to this collision of cultures and credos.

Broken Images: The Figured Landscape of Nazca was published in 1993 by Cornerhouse, with essays by Dr. Helaine Silverman and Gerry Badger.