Some winter days in Buenos Aires fog covers the urban landscape. The solitude of the park, off-season, constructs a wistful image.
I’m interested in the landscape as a metaphor of absence and memory.
I like long silences.
— Eduardo Saperas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
There is a mostly hidden and often disregarded universe within our space of life: the province. The province is borderless: it has no real beginning and no well-defined ending, except at the edges of urban zones, which are like islands, like galaxies in an wide and secluded area. Province is an interspace which is connected worldwide with itself.
I am searching for my “objets trouvés” in the nameless countryside, in the extensive absence, in the aside, in the silent realms, where everything seems conventional and unspectacular. I am searching for the similar and the singular there, and even in the biggest tristesse I can find the beauty of melancholia or some rests of lost times, which are spending a strange and lovely form of idyllic shelter.
Furthermore I want to find out what is the character of province, what is special there, what is common, what is the atmospheric fingerprint of an area that I walk or drive through.
For me the province is a room of lost time and no-time, there is only past and a small quantum of presence, but not the illusion of future, which is forming the awareness of life in our cities.
So the main location of my work is the province, the backwoods, the outside. And one of my favorite photographic series is called Universum Provinz. It is a never-ending series, because universe is infinite.
— Hans Hansmann, Leipzig, Germany
Phoenix is intense and harsh under the daylight sun, yet magical and beautiful at night when color is sultry and saturated – it’s palatable. A time when color reveals itself as tangible. I want to capture this heady mix within the urban landscape. Deliberately devoid of humans, my photography centers on architecture, streetscapes, city vistas – the lesser seen and the unseen within a human built framework.
Night Water is my third series exploring Phoenix at night — focused solely on the nine canal systems. Scenes here are from portions of two of the nine.
I am motivated by not knowing what I will find — yet knowing I will find something. Something beautiful, intriguing and worthwhile. It’s within this process; seeking, seeing, capturing — this is where I am most at home, this is where I want to be — here in the desert, at night.
— Catherine Slye, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
I picture every day.
I have no program with any dictation… inside… outside… everywhere. I do not get into molds and orders. I shoot whatever appears in my eyes and stimulates my soul…
Many of my photos are the same and thus acquire a coherent grouping… almost always without people… only their traces… empty landscapes… but are they so ”empty” therefore?
I shoot statues, hangers, trees, washing lines, stairs.
I want my photos to stand alone, without the previous or the next photo, without titles or a supporting text… just to speak to the viewer without the need of any of these… without being warned, without limits and signs… just my photo and the viewer… and if I manage to make my photo and the viewer talk… then all the pleasure is mine.
— Manolis Karatarakis, Rethimno, Crete, Greece
Fault Line is a project I am doing in the small coastal town of Brooklin, Maine. The protagonist is my younger cousin Adam, who lives there. I also photograph my brother, father, and other cousins. I chose the title because a fault line alludes to where the earth splits in an earthquake (a metaphor for a divided family with a complicated history) and also alludes to fault, or blame (I wonder, how does a family support each other, even when things aren’t perfect?) My goal is to show the weight we all carry and how we are both connected and isolated from each other.
— Sophie Barbasch, New York City
The Older Industrial Parks Near Newport, Victoria
This is an extended dialogue with the late Lewis Baltz’s seminal 1974 work The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California. The result offers images that transform Baltz’s stark Californian minimalism into an ethereal antipodean nocturne.
Baltz’s spartan boxes manifest a common American theme: the promised land defiled. He was interested in “the phenomena of the place. The effect of this kind of urbanism… What kind of new world was being built here?”
Australian landscape rarely elicits such blatant anger. Our notion of landscape seems very different. Baltz documents the short-term impact of money while my project explores the mildly subversive impact of people after the event (more erosion than explosion).
My aims and Baltz’s may seem different and yet they are very much connected. Both projects are deeply rooted in an exploration of place and time, there and here, then and now, Baltz and Lane.
— Bill Lane, Melbourne, Australia
After Eisenhower is directly shaped by my upbringing in a conservative military community in Twentynine Palms, California. Both of my parents served in the United States Marines Corps. My own conflicted view of the military has spurred my curiosity about its role in American life.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about the grave implications of the growing power of the military and the military industrial complex in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower’s speech provides the framework for this project. Was his concern justified? My work explores the signs and clues that reveal the influence of the military on American culture and also the attitudes of Americans toward the military.
In many American places, especially areas surrounding military bases, military culture is an inseparable part of the landscape. One can see many signals of how the military is intertwined in the established American patriotic, national and Christian identity. Support for the military and veterans is simplified through iconography and combined with complex and polarizing issues such as religion, race, class, patriotism, and gun culture. I find the saturation of these oversimplified messages disconcerting; however, I am also fascinated by what they reveal. These messages, in both public and private spaces, are meant to have clear meanings, but these places and artifacts suggest other, more problematic truths about American life and our relationship to our military.
— Jasmine Clark, Chicago
The province of Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands, is traditionally an agricultural area. The land is flat, empty, stretched out. The soil is fertile. A large part of the province consists of clay soil, deposited during the many floods of the Wadden Sea over the centuries.
Once the eastern part of the province was known as the granary of The Netherlands. In other parts of the province sugar beets and potatoes are grown. But the number of farms has declined rapidly in recent decades. Sons no longer want to take over the farms of their parents. Youth pulls away to the industrial and densely populated western part of The Netherlands. The population on the Groningen countryside is ageing.
As a result of these developments, fertile farmland has been changed into water in recent years. New lakes were created, and new cities were built next to those newly landscaped lakes, in order to attract new residents to the sparsely populated area. These projects have not been very successful so far. The new inhabitants don’t come, whilst the province and municipalities involved lost large amounts of money on it.
The title Grinslân derives from the name that Frisians – who are the adjacent province – use for Groningen. I picked that name because I try to look at the landscape in my own province through the eyes of a foreigner.
— Reinier Treur, Haren, Netherlands
Transient Landscape is a project of 38 photographs taken in May 2015 in New Taipei City. It is in the Xindian District that I grabbed my camera to watch, like walkers who stop along the construction site gates, the world changing. Here, as almost everywhere else the construction site is the entertainment world in transformation. The scope of the project and the work which extend over several acres still reveal nothing that will be, but already everywhere the land was returned, dug, moved, destroyed. This transformation of the landscape is a tragedy for ecology, and yet it is the future we are building.
As in my previous series, I think of photographs of Transient Landscape as painting, at least as Pictorialists thought of photography. This is obviously a labor of atmospheric light with a concern for composition and framing. It is with this pictorial sensibility that I manage to “beautify” almost pathetically an assaulted landscape by urbanism.
— Guillaume Hebert, Taipei, Taiwan
After living in China for almost a year I moved to the United States in 2012 and was amazed to see a country that was absolutely different from what I had envisioned. As a foreigner who had just come here I mainly knew this country from movies – and that was a country of wealth, happiness, skyscrapers and success. I realized however that it was just an image Hollywood wants us to see. America itself became a sort of myth to everyone in the outside world.
What I saw in reality was absolutely different from that established image. If you dive deeper into the country you’ll find countless places that are authentic in their pureness. They are the soul of the country and enable one to look into its heart. I set out on a journey through the states to find this kind of places. I wanted to see its roots and its real unmodified face.
My goal is to demystify the picture Hollywood created. In a surreal way I’m documenting America as it is – vast and giant, strange and weird, forgotten and lonely. My goal is to strip it down, making it naked to our eyes, thoughts and minds.
— Pavel Tereshkovets, San Francisco