"Landscape is Picture"
Visual presentation of the artwork from the LAND-SHAPE Festival, Hanstholm 2015
Photo: Morten Barker
"Landscape is picture"
Yuki Higashino and Elisabeth Kihlström are two artists based in Vienna, Austria, and they have collaborated through many projects and exhibitions on the topic of history represented through landscape and its socio-political development. Recently they have curated the exhibition “To Take Landscape From” at “Neue Galerie” in Innsbruck, Austria, which examined the concept of “the picturesque” from art history and its contemporary resonance among artists working with video, film and photography.
“Landscape is picture” is a Land Art work, which consists of an outdoor installation that addresses the history of the landscape through a representation of the physical environment. The central element of this work is the “Claude glass/spectacle”, an old drawing device from the 17th century, named after the famous landscape painter Claude Lorraine. It is a small mirror, slightly convex in shape, with its surface tinted in a dark color. Artists, travelers and connoisseurs of the landscape used it for painting or experiencing the scenery. Claude glasses have the effect of reflecting the landscape in a reduced and abstract version, simplifying the tones in a way that makes the scene to appear “reproduced” and picturesque.
It is a contemporary phenomenon for people to watch natural beauties or special events such as concerts and museum exhibitions through the screen of a mobile device. ”Landscape is picture” will create a situation where people´s need for turning landscape into a picture is satisfied and simultaneously the historical perspective is addressed.
At the LAND-SHAPE Festival in Hansthom the artists created a visual universe where the visitors had the possibility to perceive the scenery in a picturesque and romantic sense. The experimental installation suggested the idea of people being “nature-viewers” using various reflective screens as iPads, cameras and other tools that introduce a layer between them and the landscape.
Skagen as inspiration
“Landscape is picture” project has its inspiration from Skagen´s art tradition. The town is known for being a place where the scenery and quality of light attracted northern artists to paint in plain air, emulating the French impressionists.
The long beautiful beaches were often represented on the canvases of “Skagen painters” and it is believed that the idea of “northern beauty” comes from this place.