2009-05-29

pmc #2.1 Reading the world

Trezzano sul Naviglio, Milano Italy

As I have told in reply to Kent's comment in the last post pmc (Post Modern Condition) is my way to categorize a set of images I take in between some specific theme I'm working on. They all have as subject the stratification of human expression and identity in landscape. Landscape in historical sense has always been about human/land interaction as the word origin implies: literally a piece of land. The stratification may be read along several lines. For a reference to the main ones see here. I've posted some more references here.
In the 20th century fine art landscape photography has been intended mostly as a source of feelings or remembrances. The informational side has been progressively abandoned. Even in the German School of the Bekers the informational side is somewhat sacrificed in favor to more pictorial values. On the other side one of the main problems of a photographer is to obtain that his pictures are looked at for a somewhat longer time then the usual few seconds. I think that aesthetic values in photography have found most of the time as a byproduct of the more functional uses. Only in somewhat recent times and mostly with the so called fine-art photography the aesthetic function has become dominant. I'm not sure, given the strict connection of the media with the real, that this has any sense at least for me.

3 comments:

Kent Wiley said...

Mauro,

You've really given me something to chew on. Your first link, the Enviroliteracy.org pdf, has a lot of material to work through. I'm beginning to understand your meaning of "stratification."

An interesting point that the majority of fine art photography uses the aesthetic component of our feelings about the landscape. Of course one can find examples of Meinig's other nine ways a landscape can be labeled. But they tend to fall into the domain of advertising and commercial applications.

Most of us do indeed photograph because we like the way something looks. Perhaps we need to investigate a bit deeper this surface motivation.

Your methodology is beginning to come through to me, but it's still feeling somewhat amorphous. I'll keep reading, and perhaps it will become clearer.

Unknown said...

"Most of us do indeed photograph because we like the way something looks"

Why we like something the way it looks is exactly the question (or one of them).

Kent Wiley said...

"Why we like something the way it looks is exactly the question (or one of them)."

Absolutely. For each of us we have a lifetime of training about what we like. And then there are the thousands of years of accumulated history that add to that. So there are a lot of conventions to overcome. But this is a really valid question for me to ask "why."