Travelling to no man’s land: Joan Fontcuberta’s eerie ‘Landscapes without memory’

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Where do you think these pictures have been taken? In which remote and desolate part of the world? Patagonia? Nope. They are completely fake. These landscapes do not exist. Well, in a way they dó exist. They are computerized renderings of landscape paintings by well-known artists such as Turner and Pollock. For his series Orogenesis, Catalan artist Joan Fontcuberta has used software originally created for military and scientific purposes: it turns maps into three-dimensional images. But instead of maps Fontcuberta feeded landscape paintings or photographs into the computer. Fontcuberta’s pictures (or: ‘post-landscapes’, as he calls them) are on view at Foam (Amsterdam) through February 27. I dropped by as I was in Amsterdam for Kinderen van de zon (Toneelgroep Amsterdam/NTGent) and I can assure you: it’s really weird, looking at these pictures, as they are real and fake at the same time. Fontcuberta is fascinated by the influence of the digital revolution on the way we communicate and on our use of image. Want to know more? Click here for an interview with Fontcuberta, or buy the book here. Want to compare? For the original Derain, click here, and for the original Turner, click here.

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