Beate Gütschow (German, b. 1970)
LS #14 (2003)
Chromogenic print, 11 ¾ x 19”
Contemporary World Art Fund, 2005.27
Gütschow photographs landscapes with an analog camera, then converts the images into digital files. From this vast archive she assembles new landscapes in Photoshop, using the principles of 17th and 18th century landscape painting as her guide. She highlights “landscape” as a human construct in dialogue with, and yet apart from, the natural world.
There's nothing dramatic in this parkland view. Like the land, the clouds are flat, gray, and low on a vast landscape. Let this vastness be an analogy for the depth of geological time, with long intervals of slow, perhaps even unrecognizable change separated by abrupt boundaries impacting the entire globe. Let ~1950 be one of those boundaries for its global extent. Earlier boundaries for the base of significant human activity are merely regional, perhaps the 18th century beginning of fossil-fueled industry, the 15th century age of exploration, the most ancient civilizations ten millennia ago, the first human-caused mass extinction at human hands about 40 millennia ago, or the dawn of truly human cognition several hundred thousand years ago.