Text by: Andrea Bianchin
Landscape is a place on the earth's surface characterized by a geographical and cultural reality. With this definition, landscape researcher J. B. Jackson laid the foundation for a contemporary understanding of landscape as a system of human-made spaces. Landscape can no longer be understood only as a static, green and natural entity outside the city, but must be characterized as a dynamic space and complex process.
During our year-long journey through Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus, we created these photographs as snapshots of a landscape in transition. While our photographic documentations focus on only a specific part of the globe, they can nevertheless be read as testimony to global change. Political, economic and social changes have an immense impact on the landscape that surrounds us.
The longer we traveled, the more we became interested in both the traces left by people and the ones we, travelers, leave on the landscape as well. We have questioned the apparent wilderness (pristineness) of the landscape that surrounds us and have turned our gaze to altered landscapes through economic intervention, changing boundaries and cultivation of habitat.
The primary subject for our photographic work is therefore not the landscape per se, but its multiple, visible transformations. These transformations, which are not caused by a specific actor but by global humanity, have their origin in social, commercial or industrial dynamics.
With our photographs we would like to invite the viewer to expand his concept of landscape. We act as observers and storytellers at the same time, and thus want to report on the complex relationships between people and landscape in different places. In doing so, we took our time, were on location and became part of these places for a short time on our journey. In 6 clusters we delve into topics that captivated us on our journey, topics that made us think and stories we would like to tell further.