The Structure of a Landscape: An online group photography exhibition

6 - 28 May 2022

The CAMP Gallery is pleased to announce an online group photography exhibition, The Structure of a Landscape, featuring the works of Carol Erb, Ellen Friedlander, Xan Padron, Mario Rossi, Naomi White, and Alice Zilberberg from May 6th - 29th.


The nature of a structure is founded on a consistency and fortitude to that in which it supports, either in the development or breakdown of what has been built. By distinguishing the underlying elements, it can be rebuilt to a new form, unrecognizable from the prior. The structure of nature, by the same token, can be observed to have the same mutable aspects of form and substance that allow for a redefinition of context. In The Structure of a Landscape, that pliability evolves through the concepts of time and harmony within the spaces themselves as they are transformed by the artist’s gaze. Photographers Carol Erb, Ellen Friedlander, Xan Padron, Mario Rossi, Naomi White, and Alice Zilberberg define landscapes, both natural and created, on their own terms, with reflective analysis into the nature of what the landscape has traditionally stood for while simultaneously constructing new dialogues.


Photography serves as an extension of our perceivable surroundings, as the lens forces a form of familiarity within itself. That reliance on familiarity becomes one of the pillars of “structure” that artists such as Mario Rossi undermine in their artwork. Rossi’s SL series sees the Italian photographer divorcing the recognizable into a fairytale-like, mathematical ideal. The precise lines found in man-made structures intertwine with the wide array of flora to form a precision that is standout in his work. In Rossi’s world the dance between the two exists in a sublime trance, sans even the color of the sky, blurred into an opaque black to focus on the landscape he affords the viewer.


Carol Erb presents a similar melding of human-made structure and natural elements in her Houses and Hedges series,and locks the eye with the sharp angled fences made of natural material: leaves. The idealized suburban architecture transforms the landscape, invading the privacy of the purposefully obscured amidst the rows of foliage. Without the ability to pull back the curtain, the landscape hidden behind the friendly neighborhood veil of hedges imparts a natural curiosity about what lies behind. 


The individual can only factor in their own concealment for so long, as the majority return to a societal landscape they are indoctrinated into. Xan Padron’s concept behind the Time Lapse series defines not just a landscape, but a group unaware of their connection to one another by virtue of passing through a single spot. The culmination of diverse personas into collaged stories define a locale through the facade of a people captured in a moment in time.  


Even within the most recognizable depiction of a landscape, Ellen Friedlander’s Meditations series structures waterscapes not as a quiet moment of serenity, but as an intense recollection of memories. The want of a tranquil escape to an era of nostalgia has created an in-between within the memorized landscape and the now-hazed lakeviews, eerie in their stillness. The foggied lakes and ponds within Friedlander’s pieces rely on her memories and family experiences, conveying a spanned history locked in its own timescape.


In the same act of tranquility meeting stillness brought forth by Friedlander before, Alice Zilberberg in her own Meditations series, distorts the landscape into a placid reflection of the eventual effects of one’s actions. The pensiveness provoked by the impartial fauna becomes a reflection of the simulated background, bleak in the absence of familiarity. The still state of Zilberberg’s work invites a recollection of thoughts, forming a zen state solely on the notion of how history might be changed.


Meanwhile, artist Naomi White displays human nature’s harboring of time within her series, There May Always Be Tigers, But Sometimes There are Strawberries, trudging through the tarnished past of humanity. White ushers in lost and buried propagandas of the 1940s, once deemed as correct and proper, in the wake of the white gaze controlling the majority of media content. Yet, in the course of nature, the landscape itself is the last to forget, as the impact of the smallest pebble can cause the largest boulder to tumble.


In a world strict with structure, the artists have broken apart the supports and redefined the essence behind the landscape, through the brush and thicket into a renewed scape of differing visages.