360 pages, photos
In Full Moon, the conceptual meets the poetic: British artist Darren Almond catches natural archetypes and silent landscapes in night photographs made under a full moon, with the shutter kept open for over a quarter of an hour. The long exposure time illuminates the landscape almost like daybreak, but the atmosphere is different. There is a mild glow emanating even from the shadows, star-lines cross the sky, and water blankets the earth like a misty froth. The enhanced moonlight infuses the pictures with a haunted quality, casting the landscapes in an unease that is wholly of our time, as a contemporary notion of the sublime. The work is about time, in its contemplation of both timeless qualities in the landscape and photography as a medium to record time's passage.
The book collects roughly 250 images which Almond captured following the full moon around the globe. Natural monuments like Yosemite National Park and the German Isle of Rugen draw links to Romantic paintings by Albert Bierstadt and Caspar David Friedrich, respectively, and the whole series circles around the possibility of Romantic themes today: majestic American mountains, austere Arctic ice fields, picturesque rocks by the seashore in Japan, and, most intimately viewed, the nature of Britain, whose painterly subjects are closest to home. This book covers all parts of the series from the turn of the century up until today, with an introduction by Sheena Wagstaff, head of the Modern and Contemporary Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and an essay by curator Hamza Walker on photography and landscape in Darren Almond Full Moon.
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Hans Werner Holzwarth is a book designer and editor based in Berlin, with numerous publications mainly on contemporary art and photography.