Thoughts about landscape, and frames

What constitutes landscape as distinct from land. … In judging what is a ‘good view’ we are preferring one aspect of the countryside to another. We are selecting and editing, suppressing or subordinating some visual information in favour of promoting other features.

Malcolm Andrews, Landscape and Western Art

As Andrews implies, in constructing ‘landscape’ from land, we are framing, editing, just as the camera’s viewfinder frames and edits the information in front of it.  Is it the very fact of framing the activity of moving flour around a surface and between two hands in the Snöplog video that creates the association with landscape?  Is it also the tactile, natural character of the material that the hands manipulate?

What other associations does ‘landscape’ imply?

Andrews points out that in post-Renaissance Europe and America landscape

has fairly consistently stood for that ‘other’, the non-human world that is, or was, our home.

The idea of landscape therefore, has many associations, including an ideal place, purity, naivety and health.  The ‘purity’ of the material in Snöplog is brought in direct interface with the social content of the piece – the fact of this pair of hands being a black and a white hand.

Other associations spring to mind, of work, of cultivation, of sculpting land, of ownership, of hierarchy.  The juxtaposition of this simple human action with a material gathered from the land gives rise to many connotations to do with human activity and the land, the landscape and our place/s within it.

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