Landscape Projections (for an Unknown Window)

The art works from this series are digitally altered photographic images derived from the contemporary natural landscape. The original photographic image is compressed to fit into each of four sides of a ‘frame’ surrounding an open void in the center of the work. This central negative space is physically absent. The proportions of the void are similar to that of a generic window.

The Landscape Projections (for an Unknown Window) series (all 1998) extend conceptual issues of other photographic works of the same time period. These pieces involve images from nature engaged in a dialog with architectural structure such as Spruce (1998), Manhattan/Franciscan Formation (1998), Slump (Orchard) II (1998) and Gradient (Biscayne Giant) (1998). This group of installations use their scale, image and configuration as abstract interior ‘earth works’ that formally engage architectural space to create tension and dialog with the room they are installed within. The Landscape Projections extend this concept into a theoretical dimension by suggesting an ‘unknown’ window in a conceptual building. The landscape perceived is at once a metaphysical one, the void in the center, and an organic one, the photographic image framing the void. This altered organic landscape refers to a vitalist interpretation of architecture as an extension of nature, geologic building materials as remnants of a living earth: lava flows, recumbent folding, fossiliferous assemblages, metamorphic laminations and intrusions...

A parallel, historical inspiration for this group of photographic works can be found in the Baroque era and the interest in the unification of natural structures, systems and images with the formal concerns of architecture. The Landscape Projections, with their reiterant, rectilinear structure and central void have a particular relationship to the Cartesian preoccupation with optics and perception and the subsequent interpretation of these sciences in formal landscape gardens such as at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte.(1)

John Roloff, 1999


1. See Mirrors of Infinity by Allen S. Weiss, Princeton Architectural Press, 1995