ANASTASIA SAMOYLOVA // Landscape Sublime

Landscape Sublime

My work investigates connections between image dissemination on the one hand and appropriation and abstraction on the other. I am fascinated by the proliferation of nature-themed images on the Web. Photographed in conventional artistic taste, views of universally beautiful subjects such as flowers, mountains, and other symbols of the natural world populate the digital realm, and particularly, image-sharing websites. Traditional views of these subjects offer the audience an immediate and satisfying reading. These eye-catching, intensely vibrant images essentially demonstrate the shared admiration and romanticisation of the landscape by millions of people despite the geographic or cultural divide.

Landscape Sublime examines the outcomes of displacement and re-contextualization of such images. I’m interested in the interplay between the genres of landscape and still life, between flatness and three-dimensionality, physically constructed environment and the illusion of computer-generated space. Images from the public domain are printed out, grouped together, and sculpted into geometric shapes, then placed into an abstracted studio setting and re-photographed. In my compositions I build a world within a world, where space and scale are disorienting. The tableaux are recorded, and the prints become the layers and elements of the next circle of photographs. The process references the infinite permutations that the online images endure. Web circulation offers endless possibilities for images, at the same time making singular authorship, context, or reading irrelevant.

The photograph starts out as a landscape, and then becomes a still life comprised of landscape pictures and other elements, then a picture of a still life, and so on. The macrocosm is sublimated into a microcosm. Each photograph takes on a new appearance that bears small resemblance to the environment pictured in the original sourced image, eventually beginning its own sequence of photographs that amalgamate the genres and subjects.