Landscape in Control
(Rotterdam / Antoine Platekade, Rijnhavenzijde LantarenVenster)
By means of photography, installations and video work Anika Schwarzlose (1982, Germany) researches the methods and structures we are inventing to organize the world we live in. She firmly believes in the potential of images to transcend our imagination, thus stretching our sense of the real. In her series Landscapes of Control, of which the work Seascape was shown as part of Out There #1, water takes up central position. Schwarzlose is drawn to the ambivalent attitude of the Dutch towards water. Water, on the one hand, signifies economic prosperity and on the other hand it signifies a continuous battle. Doing her investigation, she came upon historical paintings by Rembrandt and Jan van Goyen that were infused with admiration for the tremendous power of the elements, water in particular, and the vivid need to hold those powers in check. Landscape in Control shows a landscape that is both real and artificial, one that is entirely subjected to her will. The bonsai and the steppingstones in the dirt are clearly staged. The image pairs the text-book 17th-century landscape with our present-day mentality of exercising control over our surroundings.