Claudius Schulze
State of Nature

Opening reception: Saturday April 14th, 2018 from 6.00 pm

Duration: April 17th-  June 16th, 2018
Location: VisionQuesT 4rosso –  Contemporary photography. Piazza Invrea 4 r, 16123 Genova, Italy
+39 010 2464203 – +39 335 6195394
Hrs: from Tuesday to Saturday 3 pm – 7 pm and by appointment. Tuesday, April 24th the Gallery will be closed.
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The artist will be present.

“The picturesque is the domestication of nature into a landscaped park. The picturesque reduces nature to the pleasant and consumable”, William Gilpin.

VisionQuesT 4rosso is pleased to present for the first time in Italy the solo exhibition by Claudius SCHULZE “State of Nature”.

To what extent has human protection against natural calamities become part of the European landscape? Claudius Schulze has travelled about 50.000 km across Europein his van with a “cherry picker” platform lifting him and his 4×5 large format field camera, photographing what appear to be beautiful, picturesque landscapes, sweeping panoramic views of places where nature’s beauty has been cleverly engineered to resist disaster.

In this age of climate change and rising sea levels, affluent cultures in Europe have employed the best and brightest minds in civil engineering to create defenses against natural catastrophes, while striving to create “picturesque” landscapes that are, in fact, quite unnatural.

In each of those photographs of idyllic sceneries there is always something not quite perfect…… alpine panoramas are crossed by snow sheds, the North Sea coast like other sandy beaches, are furrowed and protected by breakwaters, menacing dam walls hover above backyard gardens, tunnels cut through mountains like wounds, artificial banks confine mountain rivers and lakes, dominating windmill blades oppose the wind’s energy by turning it into electricity……. All of these defences and barriers become prerequisite to each and everyone of these landscapes: the sunshine sparkles on the surface of the mountain lakes only because it was artificially dammed, the dunes only rise because they are protected against storm surges.

As Oskar Piegsa says in his essay about this project, “These photos are not focused on defining the boundary between culture and nature. On the contrary: they show us very clearly how much the two spheres penetrate each other, at least in affluent European countries.” In our present age, the Anthropocene, our planet is undergoing rapid warming, erosion, deforestation, ocean acidification, extinction and more.