Friday, June 11, 2010

Infrared landscapes

Florian Maier-Aichen uses special lenses and computer imaging to render epic landscapes mysterious or disturbing. One of his untitled photographs at the Saatchi Gallery, shows 'a virgin beach lined with superhighway and luxury homes expanding into the misty distance. Tinting the surrounding forest in an unnatural shade of red, he casts an apocalyptic glow over the seascape, framing wilderness and human intervention as a scene of science fiction portent.' In another, the frontier wilderness, stretching off into the distance, is bathed in unnatural darkness. A Friedrich-like snow-scape, Untitled (2005), is lit by a suburban street light. A black and white photograph of Long Beach transforms urban sprawl a desert of ash, overlooked by an icy mountain range.

In the Art21 video embedded above, Maier-Aichen talks about his infrared landscapes. He says "I'm not interested in pure landscape, the Ansel Adams way for example. I think it's too pure and it's not interesting because there's nothing happening." But he still sees his work as directly relating to the history of landscape photography, rather than environmental protest art. The second clip below shows him in action, preparing to try to recapture an image from an old postcard.  You can see more of his work at the 303 Gallery, e.g. Der Watzmann (2009) and Salton Seas I (2008).  

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