Saturday, 09 June 2012 11:45

Nikos Markou

Sense of Place: European Landscape Photography

June 14 - September 16, 2012

BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts
Rue Ravensteinstraat 23
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Every two years, as part of the Summer of Photography, BOZAR invites around 30 partners in Belgium to work together on a collective photography festival. The theme of the 2012 edition is landscape photography. In relation to fine art, photography initially served as a model for painting; over time the discipline has grown to become a medium in its own right, with its own landscape practices.

Central to the programme is the exhibition Sense of Place: European Landscape Photography being held at the BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts. With around 160 pieces by 40 European photographers, the exhibition paints a picture of the diversity of national and regional landscapes within the European Union. The exhibition simultaneously focuses on the similarities and differences across Europe, both in the landscapes and in the attitude of people towards those landscapes. The works are divided into three main areas within Europe: North, Central, and South. Curator Liz Wells, Professor in Photographic Culture at Plymouth University, selected works by young talents as well as by internationally renowned photographers. Through their pictures, they each provide a personal vision of the landscapes of their homeland.

Sense of Place is built around three key themes. The first of these is the concept of the national landscape, situated within the wider context of Europe. National and regional identities arise historically in part from a common relationship within a region and from the degree of dependence on that place. With its diversity of climate, agriculture, population density, and natural resources, Europe is characterized by enormously varied landscapes geologically, agriculturally and sociologically. The exhibition explores ways in which cultural differences persist despite the political and economic unity that now exists across national boundaries. The second theme has its roots in the wider debate surrounding the aesthetics of landscape photography and the concept of “place”. Places gain significance through the stories that are told about them and through the manner in which they are represented. How does contemporary photography contribute to forming perceptions of our environment? The third and final theme suggests more philosophical approaches to the relationship between people and nature. Nowadays, many areas of Europe are highly urbanized, marked by legacies of Western industrialism and by the office, service and retail centres that characterize the post-industrial economy. We may have a less immediate relationship to the natural environment than our predecessors, yet images of nature continue to affect us spiritually and to influence and inspire our sense of identity, personally, nationally and regionally.

Overview of the photographers in the exhibition

Per Bak Jensen (Denmark), Bruno Baltzer (Luxembourg), Elina Brotherus (Finland), Carl De Keyzer (Belgium), Gerco de Ruijter (The Netherlands), Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), Gina Glover (United Kingdom), Alexander Gronsky (Latvia), Ilkka Halso (Finland), Anthony Haughey (Ireland), Gerry Johansson (Sweden), Flo Kasearu (Estonia), Bart Michiels (Belgium),Jackie Nickerson (Ireland), Arturas Raila (Lithuania), Jem Southam (United Kingdom)

Pavel Banka (Czech Republic), Arion Gábor Kudász (Hungary), Andreas Gursky (Germany), Yenny Huber (Austria), Peter Kostrun (Slovenia), Maros Krivy (Slovakia), Andreas Müller-Pohle (Germany), Vesselina Nikolaeva (Bulgaria), Tudor Prisãcariu (Romania), Szymon Roginski (Poland), Thomas Weinberger (Germany)

Nigel Baldacchino (Malta), Pedro Cabrita Reis (Portugal), Marianna Christofides (Cyprus), Céline Clanet (France), Gerardo Custance (Spain),Augusto Alves da Silva (Portugal), Joan Fontcuberta (Spain), Irene Kung (Italy), Chrystel Lebas (France), Nikos Markou (Greece), Nicos Philippou (Cyprus), Theodoros Tempos (Greece), Massimo Vitali (Italy)

Curator: Liz Wells
Sponsor: Nikon Belux, Milo-Profi Fotografie
Support: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest | Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Cultural Service of the Polish Embassy of Belgium

*Image captions: Nikos Markou, "19.10.2004 (Elefsina)", 2004, Archival Inkjet print on fine art paper mounted on aluminum, 119 X 150 cm, courtesy: AD Gallery, Athens GR