New Nature

01/11/2023

What is Nature? And why do we need the term? Throughout history, Nature has been perceived as the "Other," a counterforce to Culture, all that is devoid of humanity, and a looming menace. But today we have to acknowledge that we are intertwined with Nature. That we are indeed responsible for a New Nature that needs a new definition. 

Henri Lefebvre, following on Nietzsche's ideas on the murder of God, sees humanity as Nature's murderer.  He advocates for a fresh start, free of the baggage of the old view of the world around us. We find ourselves compelled to create that New Nature from the remnants of the Old Nature. 

The images in this series were created within seemingly natural spaces that nonetheless defy that conventional categorisation, emerging from the ruins of past human interventions. These places include disused quarries transformed into tranquil lakes or nature sanctuaries; landfill sites evolved into meadows; vestiges of ancient forests repurposed as parks and leisure spaces; meandering rivers and canals redirected to conform to human wishes. These environments communicate the disorderly authenticity of the Lacanian Real (the Real as that outside of meaning), laying bare the anecdotical space between the natural and artificial, the human and non-human, the contemporary and historical, the organic and inorganic, the deceased and living, and ultimately, the now false dichotomy of Nature vs Culture. Fredric Jameson aptly observes that, in the era of advanced capitalism, Nature is no longer an external entity: it has amalgamated with Culture into an incomprehensible hyperreality.

 It is only by stepping back that we can apprehend the entirety, and by drawing closer again, that we can perceive the apparent contradictions, the intricacies, and the profound complexity that characterises the relationship between humanity and the New Nature.

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