postscape back to images
Postscape#1 depicts Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome, one of the most photographed rocks in the world. The challenge for me was to animate something that has been photographed to the point of paralysis. Is it possible to see, let alone experience, a place that has been, over the last 100 years, largely reduced to image? The iconic black and white photographs of Ansel Adams have forever clothed the wildness of the Sierra Nevada in the clean, elegant lines of a modernist aesthetic. For most of us, Adam’s images are more real than the landscape itself. This is the experience for the vast majority of National Park visitors who spend more time on the guided tram tour and in the gift shop than on the trail. To echo the late social theorist Jean Baudrillard, the image of the thing has become more real than the thing itself.
I take as my starting point perhaps the most widely distributed, mass-produced and least iconic manifestation of this phenomenon, the souvenir picture postcard. Taking a series of photos of a given postcard I then re-assemble them to create a panorama. Using different angles, light and scale, I attempt to exhilarate the image, to render it less visual and more experiential. Rather than creating a picture by photographing a "real" landscape, I piece together the conditions of landscape from the confines of a pre-existing and degraded image. The final images bring into motion the material remains of a place and work to activate a popular visual archive.