Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés


Landnemar takes us through primeval settlements, lifeless roads, road signals that seem to have no one to guide, minimalist villages for minimalist landscapes. It is a visual reflection on one of the worst errors of mankind, trying to subdue Nature, trying to turn Nature into society. Its images of solitary places, whose human scale — human as a quality and as a being — is fully determined by the environment, make us become aware of the fact that true isolation happens precisely at the moment when we turn our backs on the Earth. True isolation means not just isolation in a literal sense, but in a tragical one as well, which can only be overcome under utopian circumstances.

Only those in deep harmony with their environment will refrain from trying to dominate Nature and will understand that surrendering is the only way not just to survive but also to coexist. Through this surrender they will finally find peace. Dostoyevsky said that no land should reject its own life. It will rather live harshly than live the life of others or simply not live. It is impossible to figure out if somebody once whispered these words into the ears of these modern colonists’s ancestors. Maybe genetics made it unnecessary, as courage run naturally though their veins.

— Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés, Barcelona, Spain