Week 2: Landscape Text

­­Following this lecture on landscape photography you will need ­write­­ up to 300 words about how you intend to approach the landscape part of the brief.

Use visual references to help understand your approach. Reflect on what you are trying to achieve. Does your work reflect any of the approaches discussed in the lecture?

The definition of landscapes is ambiguous, vague, can be sometimes obscure and puzzling. The genre in the area of photography revolves around the ‘representation of inland scenery, as of prairie, woodland, mountains, ect.; 2) the branch of painting, photography, ect, dealing with such pictures; 3) a view, prospect or vista of scenery or tract of land with its distinguishing characteristics either natural and/or man made.’ (“landscape”, 2002). With spaces having the ability and opportunity to be any scenery, interior spaces, seascapes, town, roof, moon and cityscapes, this immediately reminded me of an oeuvre I saw in Amsterdam this summer by Jacqueline Hassink (Photograph below). Hassink in this project photographed the corporate spaces of some of Fortune 500’s corporations gaining access into their private spaces to explore the concept of the table as a metaphor of power.

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The meeting table of the board of directors of ArcelorMittal © Jacqueline Hasisnk

 

The Beautiful, The Picturesque and the Sublime are key areas I’ve been looking at to navigate and conclude the style in which I am going to photograph the landscape part of the brief, not only visually but also with theory, categorising photographers’ work in these three areas. My project is heavily influenced by the contemporary documentary photography with influences such as Stephen shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfield, Alec Soth, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams. All these photographers fit into the category of ‘the mundane’ and deadpan aesthetic within the landscapes they produce. In 1975, the New Topographics movement curated by William Jenkins and exhibited in New York, summerised the look as ‘stripped of any artistic frills and reduced to an essentially topographic state, conveying substantial amounts of visual information but eschewing entirely the aspects of beauty, emotion and opinion.” “[…] rigorous purity, deadpan humor and a casual disregard for the importance of the images.” (New Topographics, 2015). It has deeply informed the astehtics and conceptual approaches to the genre and photography as modern art. In conclusion, the deadpan, mundane quality feel is what I want to reproduce in my images of landscapes and when paired with text or weighted research/story behind one image, it will bring it to a level where that one-way communication is easier to be understood by the viewer and audience.

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© Lewis Baltz

SOUTH WALL, SEMICOA,
333 MCCORMICK,
COSTA MESA,
FROM THE PORTFOLIO,
“THE NEW INDUSTRIAL PARKS
NEAR IRVINE, CALIFORNIA”, 1974

 

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