Friday, June 19, 2009

landscape grid

This is only a very miniature piece of - well, not even land art, but landscape art: a grid drawn across what was a spectacular sunset.   I was extraordinarily grateful for this sunset: it was a heavy-clouded and rather gloomy day after the start of the morning, and then suddenly, everything lit up in its full glory - the very best of NM sunsets, caught somewhere between a Caspar David Friedrich painting and heaven.

I've been eyeing this empty bird feeder (do not worry - plenty of other ones are full) for several days now, waiting for a worthy evening sky that it would be effectively silhouetted against.   I wanted to use it to refer back to the practice of imposing abstract, and geometric shapes onto landscape, and then letting natural light bring out their form (though in choosing this from a whole collection of rapidly taken shots, I have to say that this one is largely made by its composition, with the hazy charcoal form of the tree in the background, and therefore this may not quite count).   I've not been able to stop reading about Land Art (though of course, I should be writing stuff about the late C19th, and it's an uncomfortable collision), and the ways in which geometric, simple, abstract shapes within the landscape make one reconsider light and form and space and place and time.   In and of itself this doesn't do any such thing, of course, but I am intrigued about the possibility of using it as a starting point for something else (which is, I think, a further transformative possibility when it comes to photographic representations of human artifacts within a landscape).   I don't have a scanner here this week, but nonetheless, I think I may well print this out and see what the effect - and then the meaning - might be of painting in - some? all? of the shapes on the grid - an aggressively angular counterpoint to the meditative practice of coloring in a mandala.

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