Landscape

88
2016

While the classic conception of landscape presumes that nature is stable, permanent and harmonious, and the romantic vision distinguishes nature as a chaotic force; in contrast, current artistic practices seem to explore the reciprocal effects generated by the dynamic interaction between humans and matter. This issue revisits the notion of landscape as an artistic genre in the contemporary artistic context.

 

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  • EDITO

    Unframed Landscape
    Sylvette Babin

    Feature: LANDSCAPE

    The Landscape, a Counternature: An Interview with Anne Cauquelin
    Anne Cauquelin talks about the confusion that persists around the term “nature” and the relationship between landscape and nature. This misunderstanding, rooted in habitual ways of thinking, has resulted in landscape representing nature through a sort of “bourgeois” application of the principle of perspective. The misunderstanding continues today through the perpetuation of a system in which landscape is an elitist sign, a solid cultural “value.” This leads to the death of landscape: it is the closure, the completion of the system.
    Nathalie Desmet

    Landscape Photography and its Temporal Register
    This essay gives consideration to our sense of time within landscape photography. Images described as picturesque often seem to refer us to the past or at least an idea of place that has somehow eluded time. By contrast, contemporary landscape photography generally avoids any such drift towards nostalgia and romanticization. Its temporal expression is more a concern with the present and the socioeconomic determinants of landscape. It is argued, however, that the time frame within contemporary landscapes is not always so demarcated. In the work of photographers such as Edward Burtynsky and Isabelle Hayeur, the element of critical engagement may exist within a haze of temporal non-specificity.
    Roger Hopgood

    Nature, Time, and the Anthropocene: Julius von Bismarck’s Landscape Painting
    On the basis of a critical appropriation of landscape architecture and theorist Martin Prominski’s position on the Anthropocene and the “andscape” (an inclusive, adaptive, and multiplicitous version of landscape), this paper engages in a close analysis of the work Landscape Painting by artist Julius von Bismarck. The large-scale photographs of this ongoing series display familiar nature scenes, which on closer inspection do not depict the expected. The documented excerpts of “natural” scenery were first spray-painted white and then repainted, from memory, by numerous local participants, using acrylic paint in the original colours. The visible surface thus consists of synthetic rather than grown material. Notions of artificial and natural, found and made become irrelevant. This piece’s temporal implications link to phenomena such as the “hyperobjects” outlined by philosopher Timothy Morton.
    Natalie Koerner et Henriette Steiner

    Kendra Wallace: The Field of Appearances
    In this essay, Anja Bock discusses the recent exhibition of photographs by Montréal/Limousin (France) artist Kendra Wallace, titled The Field of Appearances (Trianon Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta, November 7, 2015 – January 24, 2016). Bock argues that Wallace’s large-scale colour extractions of flowers offer a way to understand “landscape” as a dynamic exchange between “subject” and “object.” By interfering in the operation of the camera, by concentrating on colour rather than image, and by emphasizing full sensory perception and materiality, Wallace breaks with the conventions of the landscape genre and challenges the underlying philosophy of ego-centric vision.
    Anja Bock

    It Takes Work to Get the Modern Lawn
    During a residency at the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation in the summer of 2015, Chloé Roubert and Gemma Savio collaborated on a public intervention using the main lawn of the iconic Gropius-designed Bauhaus School as their subject matter and medium. Based on archival research, botanical mapping, and contextual observations, the duo mowed the inscription “it takes work to get the natural look” in large letters into two-months of lawn-growth to reveal the “invisible” labour and matter that goes into the construction of an environment. This performance and landscape intervention emphasized the symbiotic relationship between the organic and the human as well as the mechanisms behind the commodification of nature throughout modernity that often occlude this inherent connection.
    Chloé Roubert et Gemma Savio

    Perambulating, Wandering, Fleeing. A Few Notes on Mobile Landscapes
    In some of his photographic series, Andreas Rutkauskas examines various angles of the landscape shaped by physical, social, or economic mobility. Made mobile through its association with other media and certain means of communications, from trains to digital technologies that range from photography to the web, landscape becomes a vehicle for values and imaginations that, like it, are increasingly marked by socio-economic phenomena; this is precisely what Rutkauskas’s work enables us to see and reflect on.
    Suzanne Paquet

    The Jungle of the Esperados
    New landscapes, conceived as forms of experience and living environments, are being invented beyond the pictorial and horticultural traditions that were the crucible of the genre. Patrick Beaulieu’s works may be interpreted as clues to this great shift, and they call for a form of reception on the plane of experience or existence, not without evoking the challenges facing human survival on the surface of the globe. Beaulieu, who is both nomadic and living on the peripheries, is a sort of esperado: his landscapes are revealed only if one accompanies him to his own living environment, his jungle.
    Alexis Pernet

    I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust… Landscape in the Works of Ludovic Sauvage
    In his Court traité sur le paysage, Alain Roger characterizes the double component—natural and artificial—of the landscape both as real intervention and as representation. Furthermore, with mechanical images and today’s digital images, the landscape is a thing as much of technique as of nature. By experimentally deconstructing and reconstructing views of countrysides, mountains, and deserts in his works, Ludovic Sauvage explores these ideas and offers a glimpse of the historicity of contemporary landscapes. But above all, he plays with clichés in order to reinvent them, notably by extrapolating the presence of a component at the intersection of landscape and image: light.
    Vanessa Morisset

    The Garden in All its States: Les paradis de Granby
    The subject of this essay is Les Paradis de Granby, a project created by Catherine Bodmer during a residency on infiltrating art at 3e impérial, centre d’essai en art actuel. Bodmer’s collaboration with five gardeners from the Société d’horticulture de Granby led to production of a postcard collection featuring photographs of their gardens and quotations inspired by the artist’s research and exchanges with the participants. The portrayals of gardens, the metaphor for paradise, and the postcard format are analyzed on the basis of the notions of anthropocentrism, landscape, and reciprocity in order to show how this project contributes to a reconsideration of the relationship between subject and object, between human and nature.
    Isadora Chicoine-Marinier

    Portfolio

    Young Critics Competition

    Some Conditions May Apply: Sunameke and the Adaptation of Pacifica Cultural Practice for the 8th Asian Pacific Triennial (APT8), Brisbane, Australia
    Sarah Nesbitt

    SCHIZES EN COMPAGNIE DE PIERRE PASTICOTTI, CARTOPHILISTE

    On bronze !
    Michel F. Côté et Catherine Lavoie-Marcus

    Reviews

    Nicolas Fleming, Se faire la cour pendant des semaines, Québec by Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau

    Nadia Belerique, Bed Island, Toronto by Alex Bowron

    La Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone, Culture Shift – Une révolution culturelle, Montréal by Anne-Marie Dubois

    Mika Rottenberg, Paris by Nathalie Desmet

    Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects, David Zwirner, London by Emily Rosamond

    Peter Fischli and David Weiss, How to Work Better, New York by Isabelle Lynch and Sophie Lynch

    Jérôme Bel, Gala, Montréal by Fabien Maltais-Bayda

    La danse au coeur de la cité, avec les commissaires Dena Davida et Frédérique Doyon, Montréal by Véronique Hudon

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