The latest Frieze, a ‘summer ecology special’, is a hefty 265 pages, so I was glad to see the editorial reflecting on the carbon footprint of magazine production. In a review of the Sharjah Biennial (‘Still Life: Art, Ecology, and the Politics of Change’), Christy Lange writes that ‘a number of works only superficially grazed the subject of the fate of our environment (confusing it instead with the genre of landscape or the literal act of recycling).’ With this in mind, as we’re concerned here with the ‘genre of landscape’, I’m not going to discuss the interesting work of environmental artists like Tue Greenfort, who feature in this special edition of Frieze, but I’d recommend looking at the Frieze website, now expanded to include more content, thus ‘saving more trees’. It includes a survey of the field by Max Andrews, author of LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook.
A couple of interesting landscape-related things on this site worth drawing particular attention to:
- There is a review of Alan Berger’s new book, Drosscape. In this book ‘Berger classifies drosscape sites into landscapes of dwelling (LODs – voids of land in housing developments), landscapes of transition (LOTs – temporary storage facilities), landscapes of infrastructure (LINs – transportation rights of way), landscapes of obsolescence (LOOs – junkyards and landfills), landscapes of exchange (LEXs – abandoned malls) and landscapes of contamination (LOCOs – military bases and other brown fields).’ There are various other reviews on-line, e.g. at Terrain.org.
- A review of a new Mike Marshall exhibition mentions an interesting new work. ‘In Spoil (2007) Marshall retouched a black and white image of a mountain of debris in a way that both restored original colour to the monochrome image and mimicked, in deliberately debased form, a landscape painting of the Sublime. It’s Caspar David Friedrich crossed with Peter Fischli & David Weiss: by turns meditating on the transcendent qualities of art’s capacity to represent nature, expressing shyness towards art as representation and a love, instead, for the beauties of the commonplace. There are things that are consistently wonderful – flowers, the sun breaking through clouds, the roll of thunder – yet which lose all their power in mediation. Marshall considers how to tackle this problem.’