(Cet événement n'a pas de description en français) The theme chosen for the eighth edition of the European Month of Photography in Luxembourg is Rethinking Nature / Rethinking Landscape. Beyond its clear link to the current issue of the relationship between human beings and their environment, this theme serves to showcase aesthetic practices in the landscape genre that, while new, have been detectable in the photography medium since its inception.
Since the more radical positions of the artists of the New Topographics movement in the 60s and the arrival of digital media in the 90s, the codes of landscape representation have changed dramatically. From this, a new kind of landscape photography has emerged in the form of a mixed media experience.
While the transformation of Earth’s ecosystem by humans is leaving indelible marks, it is important to seek new ways of seeing these phenomena, both from a societal point of view in the context of the Anthropocene, as well from an artistic standpoint through photography as a political stance and commitment.
With Rethinking Nature / Rethinking Landscape, EMoP continues to explore photography in relation to political, ecological and artistic changes in our society. Past exhibitions such as Mutations (2006-2011) and DistURBANces (2012-2013) have already brought the works of innovative photographers facing the challenges of globalisation and climate change to the attention of the general public.
However, like previous editions, this year’s selection is not grounded in an existing ideology. Rather, it reflects the outcome of discussions between European and national partners, consciously prioritising emerging international artists. From photography-sculpture and photography-drawing to installations, from serial and conceptual black & white photography to hyper-colourful images using variable printing techniques: the landscape photography exhibited here does not proceed smoothly but, on the contrary, is provocative, questioning our relationship to nature.
However, even as they confront viewers with disruption on a planetary scale, these photographic positionings are not an exercise in scaremongering, nor even predictive of an all-too-gloomy end. They serve instead to mirror various aesthetic attitudes ranging from ethical ecology to poetic-philosophical resistance.
In their photographic representations of the threatened natural world, the artists invite us to reconsider the landscape genre while pointing to a more complex dimension that casts beauty as a reflection of sensitivity and environmental awareness.