Italy was for a long time a point of reference for the art and the beauty of the landscape.
Today this reality is heavily modified. The landscape is contaminated by an economy that knows no brakes. The contemporary era requires a reflection on our identity that is changing fast. I think that the problem is in the small changes every day because they are more difficult to understand. And this is the challenge that we have to win.
I took these photographs in different parts of Italy. They can show some little but important changes.
— Alessandro Cirillo, Bari, Italy
Spaces of urban, suburban, and industrial use have been crafted and designed with specific purpose in mind by their creators, i.e. us. They are planted into the natural landscape and allowed to rest there indefinitely. Eventually, they are no longer useful as the times, and the people, change. While in large cities real estate is constantly transforming, suburban and industrial space rarely moves in tandem with the people.
This relationship between places lost in malaise and communities unequipped to repurpose them is at the center of my photography. My aim is to document the nature of landscapes that are expired, misappropriated, and lost and to capture the transformative process as it takes place. In doing this I hope to show how this defines the communities that these places occupy.
— Alex Segal, New York City
The Consumption project looks at landscapes in the United Arab Emirates that have been impacted upon by modern consumption habits. This may variously include the extraction and production of resources, processing of the same, manufacturing and construction, housing and property development, logistics, retail and ultimately waste management, disposal and reuse. Sometimes the exact nature of the land-use photographed remains mysterious.
The project also considers the way the ancient landscape itself is being steadily consumed, just like any other commodity.
The land of the UAE was essentially wild and almost entirely natural until very recently. Previously, its appearance had only altered on a geological and climatic timescale. Prior to the oil era, the occupiers of this harsh landscape considered it with a mostly critical eye; this was an environment that human life, in many ways, did battle with in order to survive. They had made their small marks on only a handful of areas along the coast, and where fresh water was naturally occurring or close to the desert surface.
In the last 50 years, and most particularly in the last 15, rampant development and exponential population growth have left few areas untouched. Everywhere you look, the landscape is being fundamentally altered and repurposed.
— Richard Allenby-Pratt, Dubai, United Arab Emirates