New Nature

Exploring the complex relationship between humanity and nature.

This project delves into the paradoxical connection that humanity shares with Nature. Throughout history, Nature has been perceived as the "Other," a counterforce to Culture, an entity devoid of humanity, and a looming menace. However, it is today imperative to acknowledge that we are intrinsically intertwined with Nature, that we are indeed Nature.

Drawing upon the insights of scholars such as Henri Lefebvre and Fredric Jameson, I confront the notion that humanity is Nature's murderer. We now find ourselves compelled to resurrect a New Nature from the remnants of its decaying remains. Jameson aptly observes that, in the realm of advanced capitalism, Nature is no longer an external entity; instead, it has amalgamated with Culture into an incomprehensible hyperreality.

This body of work is crafted within spaces that defy conventional categorisation, emerging from the ruins of past human interventions. These locales include disused quarries transformed into tranquil lakes or nature sanctuaries; landfill sites now resembling picturesque meadows, vestiges of ancient forests repurposed as parks and leisure spaces; meandering rivers and canals redirected to conform to human caprice. These environments epitomise the disorderly authenticity of the Real, as articulated in Lacanian theory, 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 dichotomy of Nature vs Culture.

The principal objective is to spotlight the semiotic binaries entrenched in our language, discourses, and myths that shackle us to antiquated perspectives on Nature, which no longer serve our understanding. The notion of untamed wilderness, an elusive "Other," and the imperative to domesticate Nature persist as tightly knit as a Borromean knot. Can art serve as the tool to unravel this complex entanglement?

The composite images presented in this project reinforce the concept of a multifaceted environment that transcends mere summation. While all constituent images share a common temporal and spatial origin, they narrate a tale of multiple temporalities and diverse spaces, a narrative that continues to unfold visibly. I took inspiration from Walter Benjamin's concept of the Dialectical Image, compelling us to seek visual or discursive means to illuminate the contradictions ingrained in our thinking, unravel the past, present, and future potentials, and provoke a reevaluation of our subjects.

The discernible boundaries between these images mirror our innate inclination to divide, categorise, resort to reductionism, and apply labels. 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 Nature.

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