See and Seen : Seeing Landscape through Artistic Practice
Summary, in English
The point of departure for See and Seen text, website and exhibition) is the conventions of the Ideal Landscapes painted in Rome during the 17th century by artists such as Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. In 18th century England this translated into a particular gaze that became the fashion for how, and the parameters within which, the landscape was to be seen and that subsequently gave rise to landscaped parks, poetry and painting, and consequently had a significant role in shaping theories of the Picturesque. These ideas gathered currency outside Europe partly through the pathways opened by British colonialism, which still to a certain extent determine the Western notion of landscape and landscape architecture. This is part of a narrative relating to the popularity of landscape as a subject, that is also embedded in and produced by the discipline of art history and a model that I worked with in my art practice from the beginning of the 1990s. In See and Seen, the focus is on studies of landscape and landscape painting, for example through copying a painting by Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Landscape with Rebekah Taking Leave of Her Father, 1640-41, and photographing a real view of an existing historical landscape seen from the United States Military Academy at West Point, in the Hudson Valley, New York. My method is to research the different historical accounts and the contexts of the representations of these landscapes. I am not so much interested in the accumulation of knowledge but in how I can put it to work in general to reproduce the landscapes through various artistic techniques and strategies. I adopt different roles when I approach the landscapes through mimicry the copyist, the tourist and the art- historian - used in See and Seen as routines for seeing. What are the implications for what is becoming a new kind of viewer of landscape today, and how could this be addressed in my work? These are two of the issues my research aims to open up. My way of working is a hybrid form that embraces both academic methods and art practice.
I have approached my research through art practice and my art practice through research, with the understanding that in the process the material will undergo further changes. In See and Seen I find myself seeing my own art practice from the inside.