Landscape Sublime



The concept of the 'sublime', often experienced in landscapes and natural phenomena, is rooted in an emotional reaction of the viewer. It is a response to outstanding and overwhelming beauty, suddenly revealed, that takes for granted that all pieces combine towards a whole. A waterfall is not just an expression of itself, but a part of the larger river, which in turn joins the immenseness of the oceans. Each part has the power to hint at the unimaginable greatness from which it originates.

Anastasia Samoylova (1984, Russia) has in this series worked with this philosophical term to hint at a new sublime. While referencing the still life tradition in the construction of her images, the re-photographing of these re-constructed images removes nature as a subject matter and condenses it. The trees, lightning, waterfalls and blossoms become representative not of nature, but of nature photography.

The landscape and its sublime nature therefore take a backseat in these works. The images used as Samoylova's source material, which she found on the internet under a Creative Commons license, subdue the natural sublime behind a technological variation. The images hint at the unimaginable amount of beauty that can be found online amongst the vast quantity of information. Samoylova has removed and utilised only a small portion to create these images.