Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Landscape is an Exhausted Medium! Oh Yeah! We'll Prove it Isn't!
'Landscape is an exhausted medium, no longer viable as a mode of artistic expression. Like life, landscape is boring; we must not say so.'
That's from W.J.T. Mitchell's Landscape and Power.
But it's not. As all the speakers at Word, Sound and Landscape in Bristol on November 7th will be evidence of. Landscape isn't just landscape; it's biography, it's the environment, it's word, it's music, it's the entirety of our being.
But still, it's a question that Jesse Alexander, author of Perspectives of Place, will be raising during the day.
If you're remotely interested in how to think about, make or exhibit landscape work in moving and thought provoking ways, come to Sound, Word and Landscape.
Bristol, November 7th
Buy Tickets Here. They are going fast.
(And feel free to replace 'landscape' with any other word that takes your fancy. 'Art', 'Fashion', 'Photojournalism', 'Documentary' 'The Photobook' 'Academia' 'The Magazine' or anything you care to mention. See if it has a ring to it or not.
Here are Mitchell's Theses on Landscape (see more here)
1. Landscape is not a genre of art but a medium.
2. Landscape is a medium of exchange between the human and the natural, the self and the other. As such, it is like money: good for nothing in itself, but expressive of a potentially limitless reserve of value.
3 Like money, landscape is a social hieroglyph that conceals the actual basis of its value. It does so by naturalizing its conventions and conventionalizing its nature.
4 Landscape is a natural scene mediated by culture. It is both a represented and presented space, both a signifier and a signified, both a frame and what a frame contains, both a real place and its simulacrum, both a package and the commodity inside the package.
5 Landscape is a medium found in all cultures.
6 Landscape is a particular historical fonnation associated with European imperialism.
7 Theses 5 and 6 do not contradict one another.
8 Landscape is an exhausted medium, no longer viable as a mode of artistic expression. Like life, landscape is boring; we must not say so.
9The landscape referned to in Thesis 8 is the same as that of Thesis 6.