Book design, concept development, editing, bookproduction
Texts: Dirk Van Weelden. Editorial: Kelly Gordon Margolis (curator of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC)
Pages: 264 / size 30 x 30 cm. Design: Yvo Zijlstra-Antenna Men. Publisher:Timmer Art Books/Lecturis
Price: € 39,95. ISBN 9789462261631
Since 1990, landscape photographer Gerco de Ruijter has made abstract images from above using rods and kites. In his photography and films, he explores the boundaries of the recognizable and the reducible presentation of the landscape. De Ruijter’s work is a quest for both purely natural scenery and the wholly cultivated landscape, and all gradations in between. He seeks to reveal the structured order that humans have made of the landscape, as well as the natural processes, like erosion, that cause change over time. The book contains familiar scenes, such as Dutch tree nurseries, plus surreal photographs produced in places like Dubai, Iceland, and the United States.
Is the wilderness wild? Nature has its order and organization, but compared to the order humans produce they are impossibly complex. Wilderness is a word for uncultivated land. When we humans take over a piece of wilderness and cultivate it, we override the natural order and implement the logic of our own particular use of the land. We have been doing that for millennia and large parts of our world seem quite natural to us, with woods and streams and swooping birds and wild flowers, when in fact they are a hybrid of technological and biological systems. (Dirk van Weelden)
Cities and industrial farming make it seem man is in perfect control. The reality is far more interesting. The soil may vary, the drainage may be imperfect, weeds and bugs inevitably wreak havoc; storms, droughts, animals and birds will interfere, all resulting in strangely beautiful images. The truly uncontrollable forces of nature are mutation, chance, hybridity, and contamination. This vital forces of the earth always burst through the human grid and in the long run will always overpower technology. (Dirk van Weelden)
The land is in constant flux, but we have a hard time seeing that, as we are seldom in sync with the processes involved. We do not take the trouble, we do not take the time. These images bring us in sync (the right speed, the right height, the right angle) and the eerie beauty they reveal suggests humans, for all their cleverness, have but a faint idea what they are dealing with. (Dirk van Weelden)
The feeling these images stir - and maybe it is their origin too - is an urge to go out. Go outside, outdoors. To leave the room, the house, the street, the town. To leave the studio, the easel, the canvas, and human company. To wander in fields and woods, along rivers and in deserts. Not just to be out there and collect images, but also to act on a desire. (Dirk van Weelden)
Art works through the senses, and when it aspires to something beyond a cheap thrill and decorative effect it could be described as a means of expanding our consciousness. These images are the result of the desire to establish a direct link between senses and consciousness. (Dirk van Weelden)
The works based on satellite images excluded, they are the product of someone walking through the terrain we see. He was not hovering above it in a balloon, or speeding over it in a helicopter or an airplane. He was right there, alone, a physical part of the space, touched by the light, the wind, the snow; his kite and his camera the tools that enabled him to become a sensing part of the land.
Landschap of abstractie? Als toeschouwer pendel je van de ene sensatie naar de andere. De foto's in Almost Nature zijn weliswaar afbeeldingen van de aarde, maar ze zijn er tegelijkertijd van losgemaakt, alsof je ter plekke de greep op de wereld verliest. (Mark Moed 08-12-2015 (Digifoto Pro)