This third volume of Naturally Hypernatural explores contemporary concepts of landscape in the humanities and the arts in relation to the notion that our age is defined by a ‘geology of the human’ and that this reckoning constitutes a new epoch, aptly named the anthropocene.
The thesis of this volume – that there is no homogeneous concept of landscape, just as there is no uniform definition of nature or culture – was developed concurrently at a conference at the University of Graz and at a series of exhibitions centered on film, painting and photography at the Kunsthaus Graz. This thesis has been fortified by registering the simultaneity of land art, the ecological movement and the view of the earth from space.
Art since the modern period reveals how divergent ideas of landscape are intertwined with differently chanted conceptions of subjectivity, perception and space.
Water, Mud, and Sand: Dutch Re-scaping the Land
IRENE J. KLAVER
Mud, Mist and Money
The landscape north of Amsterdam is typically Dutch. Black and white milk cows graze peacefully in green pastures interlaced by small ditches; an occasional windmill sits on the horizon. It is May and I am sitting in the train to Alkmaar, a town forty miles north of Amsterdam, reading, and I glance occasionally at the familiar North-Holland landscape. The green polder-pasture landscape turns into another proto-typically Dutch landscape: vast geometrical tulip fields. Some fields are blooming: their bright colors bleeding into the mist of a grey horizon. This grey and the tulip fields made it into a coffee-table book by renowned contemporary architect of the Netherlands, Rem Koolhaas. The book is a mosaic of architectural associations and quotations. Under the entry “Dutch Grey” the American architect John Hejduk states: “When we rode along the roads, which moved through the tulip fields I began to understand Mondrian. I always thought him to be an international painter; I found him to be a Dutch painter.”2
One would expect that the geometrical tracts of the primal-colored tulip fields had triggered the thought, but it turns out that
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