Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades

Photo of Mathias by Jan A. Bielinski

December may become chilly, but not for our Austrian AIRIE Fellow Mathias Kessler. For nearly ten years Mathias Kessler has been exploring the concept and history of “nature” within the Western Eurocentric context of capitalism, humanism, and representation. In his works, he not only exposes the many interventions of human culture that have threatened, remade, and shaped what nature is, but plays with our longing for an apparently untouched environment.

In particular, he investigates the complex movement of man and nature across two important notions: natura naturans (self-creating nature) and natura naturata (created nature) as explored by Dieter Buchart.
Kessler uses photography to abstract nature (as a condition of human perception) rather than document it, in order to draw an arc from visible topography to the social, economic and cultural realities that underlie the seemingly blank surface of nature.

In my photographs or computer-generated landscapes,” Kessler explains, “I work within the historical interface between the private living room and the adjoining public room of the natural order; between memory and its image; authenticity and alienation. With nuance and subtlety, I expose the way human intervention reconstructs the natural to the point that it is just another “fiction of the 18th and 19th century” as Robert Smithson put it.

For the AIRE residency he wants to work with the Rangers to create guided tours that will speak of representation. It will bring back a visceral experience in nature and deconstruct the image we have and replace it with the known and unknown that we encounter out there. All the tours will end in the sunset and no cameras will be allowed. Each participant will receive a guide to the sunset as a document to keep.

To read Mathias Kessler’s entire biography,

No comments:

Post a Comment