As a geographer, I could not speak of photography in another condition, which would cause me greater error and discomfort. In classical geography, one largely photographed the landscape: the thing itself and its representation, which, as we know, are inseparable.
In this practice, there was no pictorial intent, not even a dominant genre or visual regime sufficiently legitimate or consensual to impose a mode of looking or showing.
The question began in the landscape itself and in the – quite consensual – challenge posed by a landscape that segregates a synthesis between two categories inherited from the Enlightenment: the natural environment and the action of humans, nature and culture. Both were conceived as either a fusion where natural determinisms were debated, or as a game of potential mutual influences. The physical environment and its infinite unfolding of complex subjects and relationships – geology, climate, geomorphology, natural vegetation, etc. كيف تربح المال من الإنترنت – provided a kind of backdrop for the historical evolution of the human vicissitudes that transformed these early conditions into geographical landscapes endowed with sufficient legibility to extract patterns, explanations or descriptions. The landscape was said to be a continuous record of the relationship between “environment and man”, although the dynamics of this continuity was, above all, decipherable in its more permanent and continuous elements.
More often, the “natural” and “rural” landscape approach clearly fulfilled these objectives.
From the natural landscape, or, if we wish, by accentuating the landscape’s so-called natural elements, one captured the long period of transformation: a surface eroded by the elements over millions of years; a valley aligned along a geological fault that, in its corresponding hydrographic basin, revealed the marks of terraces, plateaus or episodes of accelerated drift or erosion; the transformation of an alluvial plain into the erratic meandering of a river, with corresponding climate changes, sea level fluctuations or episodes of geological dynamics; the persistent hardness of a quartz ridge, with inscriptions of erosion surfaces from other eras and tumults that geological time had meanwhile produced.
The natural environment and its temporalities and interactions constituted the matrix upon which the mark of humans and their transformations could be read: terraces to transform a slope and artificially retain and consolidate arable soil; irrigation and its elaborate makings; the diffusion of new crops and technical innovations in cultivation; open fields, large estates, the set aside system, the combination of cattle breeding, forestry and cereals; settlement patterns; construction techniques and their materials and procedures; traditions, customs, legal regimes or political options…, everything would find its place in a landscape pattern’s description and explanation, in its inertia or transformation. As the rural world’s economic pillar, agriculture and its territories, farmers and their mode of organization, the techniques and systems of cultivation were the machine producing a synthetic landscape that transformed the conditions of the physical geography.
The challenge of photography was to illustrate, or simply to record, this symphony in order to construct and validate hypotheses, to communicate, to complement other central forms of analysis and representation, like cartography.
Sometimes photography fixed the gaze upon a territory’s vastness, the distant profile of different contours and surfaces, a valley’s outline, the solemnity of a dry plain, urban agglomerations sown by regularities or specific situations that stood out amid the great overall composition.
In others, the lens was fixed on a detail: a quartzite stone rolled by river flow over millions of years and now wedged in a schist wall; a haystack; a village square; a granary like a temple; a thin layer of red sediment in the profile of a slope; infinite ways of scrutinizing vast and more complex things as revealed by small occurrences, fossils, markers.
These were the arts of the craft. The remainder, also in the photographs, was a fog, a certain atmosphere, a contrast of light, a human figure, a body surprised during work or rest, animals, certain noises or the quietness of the day. There might be a hint of picturesque there, of old-fashioned romanticism or assumed realism. In any case, that was not the crux of the matter.
On a completely different register, photographs today are of critical landscapes, dramatic scenes of extractivist capitalism’s predatory effects on agribusiness, mining, forestry, or the production of electricity. Document and simultaneously a denunciation and means for political action, the power of the image emerges as a powerful communication device.
I see in photography no other thing that understanding the world, contrasting or revisiting the world’s restlessness, discovering horizons, asking questions, fomenting modes of thought, denouncing, acting. The field is infinite and we cannot free ourselves from images, the truth and lies and from reality, augmented or reduced. Contrasting and deciphering images in times of image saturation, of spectacle and images of the spectacle, is a permanent challenge, a constant vigilance in photography education and research. طريقة لعبة بينجو For those sceptical about the power of images or those who believe that art is effective where politics fails, it may be necessary to abandon these extremes – disenchantment in the face of a permanent flood of visual signs of all kinds or, in contrast, the excessive belief in the immediate and consequential effect of the image that sounds sirens and trumpets – and persistently cultivate the possibility of suspending the usual ways of looking at things, practising strangeness, keeping ourselves open to the unforeseen and its revelation being easily intelligible and, therefore, communicable.
In this effort of communication that art segregates, I favour “spoken” photography, joined by words that amplify the resonating power that the image claims for itself. I favour the message’s densification.
Contrast follows this trend. The publication Contrast results from a partnership between schools and research institutions where photography occupies a central position in its own field of production, in architecture, design, the arts and artistic studies, multimedia…, associating professors and researchers and, above all, students and their projects. One can imagine clearly that this will result in a cross-fertilizing process whose result – focusing on photography and its modes of existence, production or dissemination, the conditions that make it possible, the discourses that exhibit and legitimize it – can only be highly positive. العاب المال
Without this cross-exposure, anything can exist in isolation, entrenched in its micro-world or in the tribe that expects and reproduces it (rejecting others). Mutual exposure, otherness, discussion and risk are a guarantee of creativity and innovation, as are opportunities to question horizons from different positions. Without contrast, one would lack even the perception of light, because everything would be white or black.