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Naturally Hypernatural III: Hypernatural Landscapes in the Anthropocene

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Edited By Sabine Flach and Gary Sherman

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.

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Geography is History (Geologische Zeit, Zeit Orte und Räume, Sehnsuchtsträume)

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Geography is History(Geologische Zeit, Zeit Orte und Räume, Sehnsuchtsträume)

MATTHIAS KESSLER AND SUSIE S. LEE

In this essay I examine the power of the image: the ways in which the image shapes and supersedes lived realities, and the abstractions and expectations drawn from the natural world that are exploited by the photographic image. I look at the relationship between images, places and spaces, and discuss how I locate them through my work and personal experiences. Additionally I look at the influence of advertising in changing the role of the image in the era of globalization and the Internet, and how it informs my recent work.

Looking at my ongoing artistic research through an autobiographic lens, I’d like to start by returning to the place where I was raised. I spent my childhood into my early teens in a house next to a cable car, on an Austrian ski resort on the German border. It felt at times as though my life took place on someone else’s holiday. My surroundings exposed me early on to the constructed reality of tourism. I witnessed how landmasses behind our home were moved, how dams were built to prevent avalanches from destroying ski lifts, and how ski slopes were groomed in the winter to facilitate skiers. While tourism was a source of income for our little town, my family also ran a photo lab. We developed film for tourists and drugstore chains, and had a postcard...

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