Sunday, 3 October 2010

My Wild Places

Recently, I've started to get increasingly interested in landscape photography (in the widest sense). This has been triggered by a text on Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell by Sigrid Neubert in her wonderful work on the Nymphenburg Park in Munich (Ein Garten der Natur, Knaus, Munich 2010) that reads: "He knew that the beauty and dignity of nature can help us to feel embedded in the big scheme of life."

It is with this sentence in mind that I've approached Luca Campigotto's "My Wild Places" (Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2010) and felt mostly lost - at first, that is. With time, however, other sensations developed - I began to warm to some of the photos because they widened my view, and made me aware of a spaciousness that I've not often noticed in landscape photography.

"My Wild Places", Campigotto decided to call this tome that shows mostly barren, lifeless nature. I thought this a bit confusing for I usually associate "wild" with uncontrolled growth or wildlife. To Campigotto however "wild" seems to mean abandoned, untouched, lost, ungraspable, moon-like - that at least is how I preceived these pictures. The views offered are uncommon and in this sense these images are eye-openers.

Walter Guadagnini, under the title "The Overstepping of Emotion" (What's this? I wonder), describes Campigotto as "a lover of photography, travel, and reading in equal measure" and has identified "that not perfectly horizonal line ... (that) in fact marks that crucial passage from the view to the vision" as a fundamental element in Campigotto's work. When paying now attention to this, we look at these photographs with a changed mind.

"... looking at photographs means looking for oneself in the past", Campigotto writes. I must admit that it is beyond me how I could be looking for myself in the past while, for instance, looking at a photo of the Straits of Magellan (in Argentina). In fact, if I were to decide to look for myself in the past I would very likely choose to look at different kinds of photographs. With this statement here I can however easily identify: "In the midst of solitary and wild scenarios I feel truly free. And so I take a photo to carry away that fascination - without aspiring to any form of testimony, just to continue being seduced." I love that!

Luca Campigotto
My Wild Places
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2010

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