ITA
ENG

106. BEYOND LANDSCAPE

landscape visions of the Third millennium 

The exhibition, which was promoted by Platform Green and curated by Andrea Lerda is visible until October 29, 2016 at Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea in Milano. Sophie Ko, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano and Adéla Waldhauserová are the artists involved in the project.

The text by Andrea Lerda is an abstract from the catalogue of the exhibition

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov7

Adéla Waldhauserová, Landscape as the object of photography, mixed media, ambient-sized installation

In line with a well-established path of investigation focusing on landscape as a ‘topos’, the exhibition Beyond Landscape aims to present and keep track of the practice of seven young artists – both Italian and international – whose artistic research deals with the same issue.
The term “landscape” has always referred to a given fraction of the natural environment which, by convention, is clearly delimited and characterised by peculiar aesthetic and formal attributes. However, in the light of new critical approaches and debates, it could be argued instead that landscape is a mere mental construction which men have been imposing upon themselves over time.
On this basis, the Beyond Landscape project seeks to emphasise the complexity of defining exactly the boundaries of landscape, due to their constant evolution and their close relationship with the dynamics of the social, cultural and economic sphere.
Landscape, indeed, is both an indefinite and an indefinable place, yet recognisable in its “plural reality”(1) , a reality which Pier Paolo Pasolini extensively tried to describe and discuss in his movies and in his writing. A landscape which “is neither just nature nor just culture. Instead, it is the form of their stratifying and consolidating over the course of history”(2) , the stage on which culture, natural environment, mankind, political and economic power play their part. For this reason, the project is a pretext to go further, to raise reflections and considerations that are more extensive and articulated than the mere aesthetic or contemplative experience which has characterised this genre from the beginning.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov2 beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov3

 Beyond Landscape, installation view at Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea, Milan

Accordingly, landscape is considered here not just as an artistic typology but also as a tool of analysis, enriched with new values and in dialogue with the present time.
Crossing the limits as a way to create new landscapes is the concept Gerardo Mosquera illustrated in the catalogue for the exhibition Lost in landscape (Mart Museum, April 5 – August 31, 2014). Mosquera highlights how, depending on the approach adopted, “landscapes are able to change the way they communicate with us: they may be more ‘social’, ‘subjective’, ‘cultural’, ‘mystical’, ‘aesthetic’, and so on. Our subjectivity, experience, culture, ideology and social circumstances all influence the way we perceive, process and interpret landscapes”(3) .
The aesthetic experience of landscape – the natural one – in contemporary reality is often lived without a direct relationship with its object. The current generalised practice of using technological devices such as iPads and smartphones has given birth to surrogate landscapes, employed for a sole purpose: conveying captivating images able to capture the attention of millions of individuals identified as commercial users. Photography and video-making, therefore, after outmatching print media, have become the places where more and more often an intimate confrontation takes place between man and what is known as landscape with its values, its criticalities and the issues concerning it. This means that the same boundaries of landscape have deflagrated in a huge number of directions. Its modes of representation have inevitably changed and our need to express our relationship with it does not manifest itself through idyllic visions anymore, let alone through bucolic or faithful shots and portraits. The progressive departure of man from nature – and, at the same time, his constant and increasing quest for it, even when it is not possible – has brought about the corresponding commodification of landscape. A phenomenon which, through persuasion and rhetoric(4) , contributed to the emergence of what Michael Jakob labels “omnilandscape”(5) .

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov5

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov6

Marco Strappato, Untitled (Ground), 2015, cement, Portoro marble 10cm Ø, iPad, (looped video), variable size; Untitled (35-5), 2013, photographic print, page of a magazine, plastic film, spray paint, diptych, 40x60cm ca. each

This new condition probably derives from two specific sources: the first one is the moon landing, which in 1969 offered us the image of our planet seen from its only natural satellite: a “total hieroglyphic”(6) which encompasses all the possible landscapes. The second one is the advent of Internet, the global net which since its inception has enabled us to cancel all distances, allowing the access to every corner of the world through a simple monitor.
However, these are only two of the major changes which have led to the genesis of a new way to engage with landscape, to hear and to see what surrounds us. Starting from those historical moments, everything has developed according to a cause-and-effect principle, with unpredictable and extremely rapid outcomes.
How could we not take into account this? How could we not look at this bombing of digital images which permeates our everyday? Our way of seeing and of interacting with images inevitably influences the way we feel landscape. All issues relating to gaze cannot be kept out of the field of action of those artists who modify their way to create and to shape landscape and the entire world.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov8

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov9

Cosimo Veneziano, Il pallido contorno del sole, 2013-2014, Indian ink drawings on acetate and cotton paper, 50x60 cm each, iron bases, 140x120x40 cm each

With the complicity of the era he is living in, man takes refuge inside virtual worlds, often escaping from the authentic rediscovery of that primordial contact which, since the origin of the world, has caused him to be an integral part of nature and of landscape.
The complexity of providing a precise semantic definition of “landscape” – and of “nature” as well – once again highlights the fact that man, nature and landscape are nothing but the same thing. Furthermore, it encompasses the issue we began from, namely that it is no longer possible to identify and recognise this genre through clearly defined parameters.
In this respect, Beyond Landscape intends to highlight how the construction of the meaning of this term and genre – and at the same time its deconstruction – is an ongoing phenomenon. The works of the exhibited artists emphasise how the dimension of landscape is formalised through completely different modes than those representing its generally identifiable features.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov10

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov

Laura Pugno, Textures, 2016, mixed media, ambient-size installation

Beyond Landscape presents a select group of works which, in different ways, deconstruct the preconceived idea of landscape. The aesthetic experience offered to the viewer deviates from the habitual ways of presentation and representation. It rather follows formal solutions which hardly refer to what we are used to recognising and identifying as ‘landscape’: new narratives are suggested here in which there is no unity between vision and representation. The different mediums employed – sculpture, installation, photography, drawing and painting – together bring about an aesthetic outcome where, significantly, the object and the subject diverge from each other altogether. This last crucial point summarises the primary purpose of the show: namely, to talk about landscape without landscape. Because landscape lives somewhere else, it lies beyond any convention and is reshaped every instant by the passing of time as well as by the events which accumulate within our globalised world. A world now free from those spatial-temporal limits and mental barriers which formerly prevented thought from following hyperlinks and deflagrating in all possible directions.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov4

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov1

In order: installation view, at the center the work by Giorgia Severi, Albedo, 2016, white geotextile cloth, 5x2,5x1,5 mt; Petra Lindholm, Sky Burial, 2015, seta, poliestere, getti d'inchiostro e pigmenti su legno, 49x68 cm; Falling into Sea, 2015, seta, poliestere, getti d'inchiostro e pigmenti su legno, 40,5x52,5

BEYOND LANDSCAPE
Sophie Ko, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano e Adéla Waldhauserová
curated by Andrea Lerda
Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea, Milano
Until October 29, 2016

(1) Serenella Iovino, Ecologia letteraria. Una strategia di sopravvivenza, Edizioni Ambiente, 2006, p.105.
(2) Ibid., p. 105.
(3) Gerardo Mosquera, Perduti nel paesaggio, exhibition catalogue, Mart 5 April - 31 August 2014, p. 23.
(4) The reference stems from the observation that, after long years of oblivion, rhetoric – applied to advertising – has been brought back as a powerful tool of persuasion. For a complete and thorough analysis see Annalisa Cattani, Pubblicità e retorica. Meccanismi argomentativi della persuasion, Lupetti Editore, 2009.
(5) Michael Jakob, Il paesaggio, Universale Paperbacks Il Mulino, Bologna, 2009, p. 7.
(6) Elena Re, Omaggio a Livio, in Paesaggi d’aria. Luigi Ghirri e Yona Friedman / Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, Quaderni del Fondo Luigi Ghirri, Corraini Edizioni, 2016. 

The total or partial reproduction of the text is absolutely not permitted in any form.