Friday, 22 April 2011
Work from New Wilderness.
“Anthony Lepore’s New Wilderness is a series of photographs that lay bare nature as an historical construct governed by human invention and intervention. Although these images often suggest collage or post-production alterations, they are produced with a 4 x 5 camera in visitor centers and on the edges of designated wilderness. In his “landscapes”—which are as often the capturing of a mountainside studded by telecommunication towers as the picturing of “forest-pattern” wallpaper in a ranger’s office—Lepore is showing us our own misunderstanding of the environments we are prone to find ourselves in. He points to our most ridiculous attempts at cultivating, domesticating, and aestheticizing nature, and finds (in the crevices, along the seams) the sublime beauty of human carelessness. He knows it is not the diorama of the California desert that needs to be seen, but the lone branch that stretches beyond its frame to touch the pale white wall just beside it. The branch fails at being the image of nature it is cast to portray. Or does it successfully achieve the signification of liberation we press upon nature to deliver us? The uncanny dialogue of a soda machine with the Grand Canyon, or a fire alarm that appears (as a UFO? a satellite?) in the outer space model insists on our own intervention in what nature is. Nature is never at a remove from our own impression of it. It is, like these images, a series of maps and pictures.” – Ryan Kelly