is presenting a large thematic exhibition at the 50th edition of the Rencontres dArles, the largest and most respected photography festival in the world. The exhibition, entitled On Earth - Imaging, Technology and the Natural World, brings together the work of over 25 contemporary artists who use innovative imaging strategies to reflect on the evolving relationship between humans and nature. With this exhibition Foam underlines its wish to both represent the latest developments in photography and to exhibit cutting-edge and relevant works. The exhibition is being presented at Atelier des Forges in Arles, France.
Since its inception, photography has testified to the paradoxical relationship between man, nature and technology. In the wake of great nineteenth-century landscape photographers, a new generation of artists is employing contemporary imaging techniques to document and question our relationship with the natural world which is increasingly experienced through the very same imaging technologies they employ. Photography enables us to observe this world and the effects of our existence in it. But can it also function as a catalyst for alternative ways of engaging with our environment?
Connecting with Nature
Besides photography, the artists showcased in this presentation make use of installations, sculptures, in-game photography and video. The various visual approaches diverge and converge throughout the exhibition, showing how artists seek to both scrutinise and reconcile our technological, socio-economical, spiritual and political connection with the natural world. The inherent interconnectedness between (imaging) technology and our experience of the natural landscape becomes apparent in the work of Mark Dorf and Lucas Foglia. They prove that our definition of what constitutes nature is largely dependent on human engineering. The power of the image to evidence (or obscure) the devastating effects of human engagement with the land is explored by artists such as Matthew Brandt and Anouk Kruithof, while artists such as Melanie Bonajo and Adam Jeppesen present alternative ways of connecting to nature. With a few exceptions, image-makers no longer traverse the land camera in hand to document their surroundings. Photographers such as Thomas Albdorf, Drew Nikonowicz and Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács employ social media, image search engines, Google Maps, virtual reality and other visual tools to unpick our increasingly mediated and screen-based experience of the landscape.
Thomas Albdorf (1982), Jonathas de Andrade (1982), Jeremy Ayer (1986), Fabio Barile (1980), Melanie Bonajo, (1978), Matthew Brandt (1982), Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács (1974 & 1973), Raphaël Dallaporta (1980), Mark Dorf (1988), Lucas Foglia (1983), Noémie Goudal (1984), Mishka Henner (1976), Femke Herregraven (1982), Benoît Jeannet (1991), Adam Jeppesen (1978), Wang Juyan (1982), Anouk Kruithof (1981), Mårten Lange (1984), Awoiska van der Molen (1972), Drew Nikonowicz (1993), Mehrali Razaghmanesh (1983), Guillaume Simoneau (1978), Troika (collective: Eva Rucki (1976), Conny Freyer (1976) and Sebastien Noel (1977)), Maya Watanabe (1983), Guido van der Werve (1977).