(Maastricht / Boschstraat 53)
Charlotte Lybeer (1981, Belgium) describes her work as research into ‘artificial, enclosed enclaves’ of modes of community. These places are also known as ‘gated communities’. The Lake is a photo of a created nature paradise in China where stressed commuters flee to after working hours to escape the city and distress in the virtual scenery. The constructedness and artificiality is noticeable in every detail of the empty landscape. The scene resembles a classical diorama that is used to display taxidermic animals. In Lybeer’s photo there are no animals present. Equally invisible are the concrete parts zoning off the landscape. The photo is not about landscaping, but rather about the longing of the Chinese for the rural life that is gradually disappearing due to the ever-expanding capitalist system.
The Chinese parks try to copy the rural world of old. The landscape photos are in a way political statements that criticize the bizarre consequences of capitalist production and consuming. The virtual world is a concrete construction within the real world. The artificial landscape works as a form of therapy and as a flight from drab reality.