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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

'Landscape is Boring!'

     The Engendered Landscape: Jane Austen's Walk  #1, Charlcombe Valley

'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 is a 'thesis' from the introduction to W.J.T. Mitchell's Landscape and Power. On Thursday, I'm at IC Visual Labs in Bristol for the launch of another book on landscape, Jesse Alexanders Perspectives on Place and a discussion on landscape and I'm sure that quote will come up.

Perspectives on Place takes that inflammatory Mitchell thesis as its point of reference in some ways. It looks at the different strategies that have been used to drive our understanding of the landscape forward. It's a Users Guide to Landscape.

So there are sections on the sublime, the exploratory, the synthetic and the contested landscape. What's great is that you can think of any landscape work and the how and the why of its making will be covered in some way.

So Marc Wilson's Last Stand comes under Landmarks or Contested Territories, Paul Gaffney's We Make the Path by Walking is Wilderness/Exploration, and Nicolo Degiorgis's Hidden Islam would be in transient Spaces and you can go on and on with virtually any landscape-based projective. Perspectives on Place is a really clear way of reading landscape photography and putting it in a historical and contemporary perspective. It's a way of stopping it being boring.

I don't normally put up blog posts on people I work with, but I'll make an exception for Jesse for lots of reasons, and because I can advertise his book and an IC Visual Labs event at the same time and it's a bit of a Bristol promotion week on the blog this week. So there you have it.

Come to IC Visual Labs in Bristol on Thursday 19th February, 7pm, for the book launch of Perspectives on Place and Panel Discussion with me, Jesse Alexander, Celia Jackson and Gawain Barnard. 

Buy Perspectives on Place Here

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