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Landscapes will soon no longer exist the way we know them. Global warming melts the Antarctic ice, slash and burn reduces the forests, rivers die of industrial pollution, grassland gives way to cities as the human population grows. How do photographic artists respond? Do they glorify nature or is it their aim to enlighten the spectator? Vanishing Landscapes provides different viewpoints from twenty internationally renowned photographers including Robert Adams, Edward Burtynsky, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Joel Sternfield, and Thomas Struth, with short commentaries by the artists, and an introduction by John Berger. About 30 of the photographs were specially commisioned for this book.
John Berger is a storyteller, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, whose body of work embodies his concern for, in Geoff Dyer's words, "the enduring mystery of great art and the lived experience of the oppressed." He is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years, who has explored the relationships between the individual and society, culture and politics and experience and expression in a series of novels, bookworks, essays, plays, films, photographic collaborations and performances, unmatched in their diversity, ambition and reach. His television series and book Ways of Seeing revolutionised the way that Fine Art is read and understood, while his engagement with European peasantry and migration in the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours and A Seventh Man stand as models of empathy and insight. Central to Berger's creative identity is the idea of collaboration, with people, places and communities as much as with other writers and thinkers. Democratic and open exchange is embedded into his project, and among those artists with whom he has worked are some of the most imaginative in their fields - theatre director Simon McBurney of Complicite, the late artist Juan Munoz, photographer Jean Mohr, composer Gavin Bryars and film-makers Mike Dibb, Alain Tanner and Timothy Neat.
Art should not be propaganda - but it can change minds. At its best, it is a connecting rather than a dividing force. This is the difficult territory that a new and visually stunning collection, Vanishing Landscapes, occupies. Some of the images are truely shocking. No one can flick through these pages and not be appaulled at the scale of the devestation that humanity has inflicted on the landscape. New Statesman Landscapes will soon no longer exist the way we know them. Landscape photographers may have differing responses to recording these challenging scenes. They can glorify nature, record its remaining beauty, or enlighten the spectator - sometimes all at once. Traveller The images are both beautiful and unsettling, and capture vulnerable, ever-changing environments, from Japan to Sussex to Greenland. Harpers Bazaar This sobering book hammers home how much of our planet is being lost. Wanderlust Unknown aspects of our contemporary world are the focus of the polemical book Vanishing Landscapes, a collection of contemporaty photographs by 21 photographers including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Kenna, and the Czech born Jitka Hanzolva. Nothing takes the light more gratefully than a pane of blue-green ice and Olaf Otto photographs ice sheets in Greenland with clinical beauty. While the texts harangue us about the moral burden of man-made climate change, the photographs speak calmly with wisdom and authority. Times 5 stars: Vanishing Landscapes asks us to look again at the world around us. Closet eco-warrior or not, this is a book no landscape - or indeed any other - photographer should be without. Amateur Photographer This book is not only full of beautiful photographs; it is a record of our planet skilfully rendered by each artist within it delivering a powerful message, as all good art should. London Independent Photography