Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art

Committee Member

Anderson Wrangle, Committee Chair

Committee Member

David Detrich

Committee Member

Andrea Feeser

Abstract

This series of work diverts landscape photography into object, material, and riddle. I investigate how we are conditioned to view and interact with the natural environment through constructing new, illusive vistas and forms using photographs I made in physical landscapes. Photographs that range from iconic views to details of rock textures are combined and altered to construct dioramas that represent forest, desert, ocean, and mountain landscapes. The dioramas are then photographed and deconstructed. Their remains are reorganized into piles and photographed as unrecognizable representations of the original place. The piles exist in a white, voided space portraying a sense of loss and uncertainty. Representing the landscape in these modes demonstrates a timeline of my process and a metaphoric timeline for the landscape. I consider the larger problem of our ever-changing environment and loss of natural landscape through the processes of reconstructing and deconstructing a photograph. The uncertainty of how to fix increasing problems like wildfires, rising ocean levels, and the repurposing of public land is reflected by the way I confuse space, time, and form by use of a camera and material. I consider the works to be landscape puzzles, a game of thoughtful play in my process of piecing together new landscapes. Humor is also used to invite the viewer to participate in the puzzle, investigating the blurred line between fabricated and real environments. This interaction with the work extends beyond the physical installation to suggest the viewer’s role in maintaining, restoring, and appreciating the landscape beyond the gallery.

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