Artifice

Landscape may be represented by painting, drawing, or engraving; by photography, film, and theatrical scenery; by writing, speech, and presumably even music and other “sound images”. Before all those secondary representations, however, landscape is itself a physical and multisensory medium (earth, stone, vegetation, water, sky, sound and silence, light and darkness, etc.) in which cultural meanings and values are encoded, whether they are put there by the physical transformation of a place in landscape gardening and architecture, or found in a place formed, as we say, “by nature”. The simplest way to summarize this point is to note that it makes Kenneth Clark’s title, Landscape into Art, quite redundant: landscape is already artifice in the moment of its beholding, long before it becomes the subject of pictorial representation.

William J. Thomas Mitchell, Imperial Landscape (1994)

Henri Bava + Agence TER, Aqua Magica Park (2000)

FIND IT on the map

Published by

vty

vty is professor on Landscape Theory and Landscape design at the Catalonian Politecnical University in Barcelona and at the Politecnico di Milano

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