Taken in the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia, Reading the Landscape comprises photographs that depict three different states of nature: intact nature, the ruins of nature, and artificially created nature.
Olaf Otto Becker shoots his photographs with a large-format camera (20 x 25 cm negative) while on his travels, which take him to some of the most remote places in the world. In his project, Reading the Landscape, Becker contrasts untouched primeval forests with large swaths of deforested territory and artificially created natural areas. Increasingly, the latter functions as a replacement for the intact natural areas that are vanishing.
The photographs in Reading the Landscape document changes in landscapes that result from overpopulation or the unregulated usage of earth’s resources. Man appropriates primeval forests that have developed over millions of years and destroys them in only a few decades. In the last thirty years, for example, ninety percent of the forests in Indonesia have been destroyed and replaced by single-crop farming. At the same time, in the mega-cities of the world, man creates an imaginary kind of nature and turns it into a consumer product.
In these works the German photographer’s personal artistic approach is combined with his intent to document, as well as with socio-cultural questions. The artist believes that it is one of art’s tasks to examine the themes of behavior and the zeitgeist. “Art should say something about the now,” says Becker. At the same time, however, the artist emphasizes the autonomy of his photographs and the fact that they are created out of artistic ambition. Formal, aesthetic endeavors come before the contextual. Olaf Otto Becker’s work method can be interpreted as more phenomenological than conceptual. The artist conveys his visual statements through vision alone and allows the viewer to read himself into the landscape.
Stand as of June 2015, Reading the Landscape
Approximately 80 works of art in various sizes:
20 works measuring 61 x 73.5 cm framed
10 works measuring 111 x 133 cm framed
10 works measuring 149 x 180 cm framed
Please contact us regarding availability and lending conditions.
Other projects by the artist:
1999-2012: Under the Nordic Light: A Journey through Time Island
2007-2008: Above Zero, Greenland
2003-2006: Broken Line, Greenland
For thematic exhibitions, selections from these groups can be requested.