the visitors - becoming mr & mrs Andrews
‘The visitors – becoming mr & mrs Andrews’, is a subversive-comedic response to John Berger’s polemic about depictions of landscape, the wedding portrait, and landed gentry.
The photographs depict a generic couple who assert their presence into various public locations, sometimes stately, and sometimes non-specific landscape locations. The pair are similarly dressed and pose in a variety of ways. At times the figures look out of place, almost uncanny in their posture and attire. In other pictures they pose as though they might be the owners of the house in the background.
Berger argues that historically, being a landowner was a precondition for philosophical enjoyment of the landscape…”their enjoyment of uncorrupted and un-perverted nature did not, however, usually include the nature of other men”1
The subtle intervention of inserting myself and my partner into other peoples land and landscape disrupts the accepted ‘natural order’ and presents a queer alternative to the land owner as a response to the way history is mediated through art and the status of the individual…
“We are accused of being obsessed by property. The truth is the other way around. It is the society and culture in question which is so obsessed. Yet to an obsessive his obsession always seems to be of the nature of things and so it is not recognised for what it is. The relation between property and art in European culture appears natural to that culture, and consequently if somebody demonstrates the extent of the property interest in a given cultural field it is said to be a demonstration of his obsession. And this allows the Cultural Establishment to project for a little longer its false rationalised image of itself.”2
1. John Berger – Ways of Seeing
2. John Berger – Ways of Seeing