General Entry - Emerging Talent Awards
Landscape is one of the most beloved photographic genres. Landscape images grace the walls of fine art galleries, office and home interiors, consumer goods packaging, and image sharing websites. Generally, the photographic depictions of landscape are strikingly expressive, emulative of the traditional pictorial representations of the idealized natural environment in painting. Such aesthetic is evident in photographs of universally beautiful subjects - mountains, flowers, rainbows, and other natural wonders. The subjects in these images are not only pleasing to the eye in real life, but they are also photographed and retouched in a way that brings out the most spectacular visual effect, which often gives them an appearance of a fantasy world.
In Schopenhauer’s aesthetic theory the accounts of the beautiful and the sublime are explained through the examples from nature that include various landscapes. While the beautiful calls for a calm state of visual contemplation, i.e. flowers, the sublime is experienced when the phenomenon is so immense that it might overwhelm the human individual, i.e. waterfalls or desert landscapes, among others. The Internet is abundant with fantasy-like depictions of nature. Freed from copyright restrictions by their creators, these eye-catching photographs circulate on image-sharing websites, where they can be downloaded and used in one way or another by the online community.
In Landscape Sublime I re-use the found photographs to explore the connection between the original image and its appropriated copy, as a metaphor for the natural environment and its visual representation. I print out and sculpt the images, then re-photograph them in a studio. The images I find online are already removed from the function of straight documentation of nature by careful composing and digital enhancing. My compositions move those landscape images further away from the real, referencing the view of the natural world as seen through a computer screen.