Joan Fontcuberta

Joan Fontcuberta

Work from Landscapes Without Memory.

There is also a great review here.

“Rather than venturing out into nature, Joan Fontcuberta creates plausible, even spectacular landscapes using Terragen, a computer program originally created for military and scientific uses that turns maps into images of three-dimensional terrain. For these three works, Fontcuberta scanned details of three famous photographs by Bill Brandt, Alfred Stieglitz, and Man Ray (in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp) into a computer. Then the Terragen program decoded the data and output it as realistic-looking images of no place on earth–landscapes that are enticing but also creepy and unnerving.

Fontcuberta’s artificial landscapes underscore how our orientation to nature is mediated by our experience of previous images. Orogenesis: Man Ray/Duchamp is based on Élevage de poussière (Dust Breeding) (1920), an already mysterious photograph credited to both Man Ray and Duchamp which shows the surface of Duchamp’s enigmatic artwork The Large Glass. In Fontcuberta’s hands, the photo of this artwork’s dust-laden surface becomes a disorienting mass of fog-bound outcroppings that tilt up in the picture plane in a manner that is both threatening and inviting. Fontcuberta taps into our deep desire to experience majestic, unsullied, sublime vistas, while making those idylls fake, vacant, and unreachable.” – ICP

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