Joan Fontcuberta tries to put the “real” into Dalí's Surrealism. In this first major monograph to be published in the United States by one of Spain's most prominent and innovative artists, Fontcuberta subjects various imaginative landscapes--among them ones by Cézanne, Turner and Weston in addition to Dalí, as well as photographs of his own body--to the manipulation of landscape-rendering software originally designed for the military and scientific communities. The limited visual vocabulary of the programs translates contours (like floppy clocks) into natural elements such as hills, rivers, clouds and the like. The result, actually, looks far from real. As Fontcuberta says, “In a typically surrealistic caper, introducing the critical-paranoid method in the technological heart of the computer, Dalí's dreams become equally impossible landscapes.” And, he might have added, gorgeous black-and-white ones.
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Spare a thought for Caspar David Friedrich's poor, beleaguered "Wanderer in a Sea of Fog." The classic 1818 depiction of a man trying to have a little quiet time in the mountains is dragged out for reproduction every time anybody—from textbook publisher to tourist bureau decorator—needs a handy symbol for romantic subjectivity or Bavaria. But the final indignity might be its inclusion in this weird book—transformed by scanners and computers into a "landscape" that looks like the background of a video game, only really, really sharp. Artists from Rousseau to Hokusai are given the same inane treatment, and after running out of artists to ruin, Spanish photographer Fontcuberta starts using his body parts. But it doesn't make much difference: the images all look like the covers of techno compilations by groups you've never heard of. Beyond filling the no doubt pressing commercial need for wealthy nerds to have their own Thomas Kinkade, it is hard to know what Fontcuberta intends with this production. The essay by critic Geoffrey Batchen stoutly attempts to find some subversive value in the works' very awfulness, but sometimes kitsch is just kitsch. (Oct.)
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"The Barcelona-born artist fed famous paintings and photos of his own body into Terragen, a shareware program that uses fractals to create imaginary 3-D landscapes. The surreal results appear as if Ansel Adams had ditched his camera and stayed home making fantasy novel covers on his computer." --Seed
"Fontcuberta has applied the software to photographs and even paintings, generating a spectacular, fascinating and somewhat eerie world." -- Ben Brain --Amateur Photographer
"This series of images of mountains, waterfalls and sunsets, contains the realistic elements of landscape but remain spookily generic and unreal." --The British Journal of Photography
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Description du livre Aperture, 2005. Hardcover. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire M1931788790
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