Picturing Landscape: Contemporary Photography, Collective Visual Memory and the Making of Place in the Netherlands.
- Tuesday 18 September 2018
2311 GJ Leiden
Landscape photography is a means of visual communication that transfers meanings of landscapes to its viewers. The beholder feels at home with a depicted landscape, is alienated from it or sees it in a totally different way. In her dissertation, interdisciplinary between art history, cultural geography and landscape architecture, Van den Heuvel introduces a methodology that consists of three steps: ‘georeferencing’, ‘geospecific comparison’ and ‘geogeneric comparison’. The method helps to analyse how landscape pictures create meaning of a location or – to speak with Yi-Fu Tuan – how they ‘make place’.
The method is first applied to three case studies in the Dutch landscape: the Haarlemmermeer area around Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam as photographed by Theo Baart and published in the photobook Werklust: Biography of a Landscape in Transition (2015); a tree nursery in the banks of the Lower Rhine as photographed by Gerco de Ruijter for the photograph Baumschule #2 (2009) and the nature reserve of a heath area near Laren in the Gooi-area in the Central Netherlands as photographed by Kim Boske for the photograph Mapping 5 (2008-2009).
Conclusively is stated, that photographers do not only work with the physical elements that appeared before their cameras. Also, compositions and motives that persist from famous landscape painting play a rhethoric role to create meaning of a place. The method not only helps to informs on artistic landscape photography. Also, to cultural geographers and landscape architects it gives insight in the way photography visually constructs and communicates meanings of landscapes.
This dissertation was partly realized in the framework of the European JPI Cultural Heritage program EUWATHER and with the support of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University.
- Prof. C.J.M. Zijlmans
- Prof. J.C.A. Kolen
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Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
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