This long-term project is focused on urban and suburban observation, an alternation of constant change and stillness which form an unclear landscape, suspended between recognition and surprise.
The aim is to discover the fascination of the exotic in an ordinary landscape to which we have stopped paying attention.
— Marco Fava, Piacenza, Italy
All over the countryside in North West Leicestershire there are rocks, concrete blocks, tree stumps and piles of earth in lay-bys, property entrances and field gateways. What is going on, or, more precisely, what is being stopped from going on?
I first photographed the reason for the blocks at the same time as the first of the blocks themselves, early one bright Sunday morning at a roundabout near my village, where a small group of travellers had set up camp alongside the road. Part of a lay-by off the roundabout had been cut off with huge rocks from one of the local quarries.
As is the way with these sorts of things, once you notice one example, you see a lot more. So I went out to investigate and found many more around the county. Every field, empty factory, lay-by and dead end bit of roadway was blocked in the same way. I also started to notice a lot of traveller home sites; little bits of land that had been colonised and turned into homesteads. Then I found one homestead that had been completely burnt out. It didn’t look like it was an accident. I realised that this was more than just dealing with a minor inconvenience; that there was a fairly serious issue of a clash of lifestyle and thinking going on; one that may never be resolved. Although I am not religious, it reminded me of a quote from the Christian Bible that I had heard a long time ago: “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
— Robert Ashby, Swannington, Leicestershire, England
Minsk is the capital of Belarus, population two million. The biggest part of it was built after World War II and was quite carefully planned.
We have here only one small river but there was an idea to create a big recreation zone for city inhabitants. The “green diameter” – a system of artificial lakes and parks, had to cross the city from west to east and form a rest zone. There also were some “worker’s” districts, where people from big factories mainly lived, located on the periphery of Minsk and far from the river. To spread the green zone into these districts a channel, an artificial “river” with a system of ponds and waterfalls from concrete, was created in the middle of the 1970s.
The green diameter had to form a center of communication for the people of Minsk. On the one hand it is like this at the moment. From another, these parks — an architectural and natural monument — became more a place of solitude and runaway, a palace where everybody tries to hide, to stay a little bit alone in nature.
— Alexandra Soldatova, Minsk, Belarus
I use the camera as a means to understand the world around us and to explore spatial environments and encounters. My work usually emerges from a conceptual rule-based frame work and rarely includes people. However, a few years after my grandmother passed away, I spent two weeks at her house in New Hampshire where I had spent my childhood summers just the two of us. During my time there, I thought often about how people shape and define space and how we associate places with people. Looking through projects such as Bruce Davidson’s East 100th Street, Alec Soth’s Niagara, or Chan Chao’s Burma: Something Went Wrong, one can’t help but allow the portraits to influence our impressions of these places. But what happens when the people who give meaning to a place are gone? How do you capture someone whose presence is felt despite being physically absent? Drawing from various metaphors for trees representing family and using the tropes of contemporary portrait photography, I set out to photograph the various trees on her property.
— Alexandra Silverthorne, Washington, DC, USA
These photos are about the loss of identity in the urban landscape. Our built environment shapes our sense of self, our sense of place and our interactions with others. In cities, buildings are the essence of our collective personality; they are the means through which we enter into contact with a place and with the society that expresses itself in that place.
I began taking these images to document the impact of a new generation of mostly undeterred and monotonous development on our social well-being. In Seattle we’ve experienced a huge transformation over the past five years during which older buildings, sometimes our most visible means of uniqueness that signal a particular neighborhood, have been displaced by metal and concrete boxes that at best have no distinction and quite often have no soul. The new construction is fast and efficient, banal and ubiquitous. It provides new and often unwanted meaning to where we live while taking away from our previous context of how and why we came to live where we do.
— Tim Greyhavens, Seattle, Washington, USA
This project, titled Judgment of Minos, is a comment on the bourgeois conception of death.
Fear of pain, fear of death and postmortem punishment, fear of darkness, fear of the unknown and the foreign, and fear of seclusion make people think and act abnormally.
The photographs were taken at various locations on the island of Crete, the land of King Minos. After the death of King Minos, Zeus made him judge of the dead in Hades.
— Lambros Andrianakis, Heraklion, Greece
I make mainly landscape photos of Italy, bearing in mind the style of American new topographers, but not only. I search for some kind of truth. It’s indeed difficult, but surely satisfying. It’s a trip to see Italy as it really is, not just a postcard place. Time after time I capture “situations” to make some kind of “odd atlas” of Italy, showing known cities’s peculiar places and also suburban landscapes.
— Maurizio Callegarin, Adria, Italy