Intentional Landscapes

[Image: This humid and apocalyptic image—one of my favorite of the last few years—by photographer Daniel Shea depicts a house in Cheshire, Ohio, seemingly stranded amidst its own, artificially maintained lawn, as a coal-fired power plant belches out new climates in the distance].

Over the last few months, several photos from Andy Adams‘s project Looking at the Land have stuck with me, peppering my desktop here at home and re-appearing every few days as I search for other files; and I thus thought I should post a few of them here to share with a wider audience.

Looking at the Land, in a nutshell, developed from an admittedly broad call looking for “photographs depicting landscape in the United States since 2000.”

In the process, Adams hoped to pose several subsidiary questions: “Why do people photograph places? What compels artists to make images of the land? Are their intentions similar or different than previous generations?” The answers to these questions form what Adams calls “landscape stories.”

[Image: The “strong, elegant structure” of a highway overpass in Las Vegas, Nevada, photographed by Caitlin Teal Price].

The resulting online-only exhibition is suitably mixed—in theme, subject, and, in some cases, quality—but the overall collection well deserves longer attention, precisely for its diversity of focus.

In addition to the images reproduced here, for example, there are scenes of empty parking lots overlooking distant geological formations in Arizona, empty cul-de-sacs still awaiting their future buildings in the wilds of Texas, and an unfinished big box store, like some white alien monolith, in the western desert.

[Image: A future suburb in Monroe, New Jersey, takes shape as huge, sculpted chocolate formations of red dirt are mechanically rearranged across the landscape in this photograph by Justin James Reed].

But those are just the images I’m drawn to, myself. Click through to see the nearly one hundred photographs on display, and be sure to read the short interviews with each photographer that accompany the images.

2 thoughts on “Intentional Landscapes”

  1. The image of the house in Ohio is charming indeed.

    As an artist, photographer, and student of architectural theory in my undergrad, I see great value in Adam's project 'Looking at the Land'. The questions he is posing force a contemplation of photography itself and the sociological aspect of landscape & architecture.

    In short form I would say singular images have the ability to synthesise larger proposals of thought, and perhaps within postmodernism this is as necessary if not more so than in previous eras of art history.

  2. That photo looks like my sister's housing complex in Hebron, KY. I've actually taken that same photo. Also, I saw a guy drying his car with a leaf blower in hot, humid August summer weather.

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