A selection of photobooks that accompanies the public installation of Lucas Foglia’s Human Nature in Milan (read more here): 5+1 titles exploring a sensitive and collaborative interaction between humans and the environment. Narratives that open up to different possibilities, showing how artists bear witness to a personal dialogue with nature.
Each artist explores his/her own relationship with nature, with its problems and expectations: from Awoiska van der Molen with her wandering amidst remote mountain landscapes, to Marina Caneve with her brilliant investigation of hydrogeological risk in the Dolomites; from Robert Knoth and Antointette de Jong with their poetic study between past and present of how human activity radically modifies the natural world, to Rebecca Norris Webb with her healing wandetings; from Francesca Todde to Vincent Delbrouck, with their sensitive meditations on the animal and plant worlds respectively.
Accompanied by a description of each book and the Micamera tote bag, the book set is available in the trade and deluxe version – the latter including a rare, out-of-print title.
Awoiska van der Molen – The Living Mountain
Softbound, 24 x 29 cm
48 pages, black and white photographs + 16 pages booklet
“The more one learns of this intricate interplay of soil, altitude, weather, and the living tissues of plant and insect (an intricacy that has its astonishing moments, as when sundew and butterwort eat the insects), the more the mystery deepens. Knowledge does not dispel mystery.”
Nan Shepherd, The living mountain
Anna (Nan) Shepherd has spent a lifetime searching for the ‘essential nature’ of the Cairngorm Mountains, a mountain range in the Scottish Highlands. The resulting essay, The living mountain, has the thickness of a meditation around the magnificence of the mountain and the imaginary relationship with the environment that surrounds us.
It took thirty years for Shepherd’s book, written during World War II, to finally be published. And it is from the pages of Shepherd that Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen takes off to explore the essence of remote, unspoiled natural worlds.
The book was published on the occasion of what was supposed to be the premiere of composer Thomas Larcher’s The Living Mountain concert in Amsterdam, which was postponed until a later date due to the pandemic. Larcher’s work is entirely inspired by photographs Van der Molen took in the mountains of the composer’s birthplace, Tyrol, Austria.
The Living Mountain is a delicate interlocking of musical scores and images: the enormous white spaces left on Larcher’s pentagrams are filled by the intense blacks of van der Molen’s photographs; the minute composer’s scribblings between the notes find breath in the slowness that the analogue image brings within itself and grants.
The perfect combination of music and landscape tells of an environment that can enchant, showing so much beauty to take your breath away, but that is also able to become so harsh and hard to reject human beings, remaining inaccessible.
Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong – Tree and Soil
Hardback, 19 × 28 cm
112 pages, color photographs
Limited edition of 925 copies, only 400 for sale
“At times we felt like archaeologists of the future, trying to understand what happened in a distant past when a mysterious force resulted in the evacuation of towns, villages, and forests, leaving only a residue of human presence.“
After the 2011 nuclear disaster, over a period of five years Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong photographed and filmed the changing landscapes of the areas around Fukushima.
They documented evacuated farms, gardens, agricultural fields, surrounding hills and forests, and interviewed former residents of the area.
In constructing the book they combine their own landscape photographs with historical material from the collection of naturalist and explorer Philipp Franz von Siebold. In the early 19th century, Siebold had the opportunity to travel throughout Japan and bring home not only large quantities of artifacts and specimens of plants and animals, but also a treasure trove of woodcut prints made by artists such as Kawahara Keiga. Siebold’s collections, now acquired by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, illustrate how Japanese culture is deeply rooted in and inspired by nature. Siebold perfectly embodies the mindset that became typical of the Age of Exploration, a time when explorers began traveling to uncover the secrets of the natural world and all its treasures for the benefit of mankind.
In Tree and Soil Knoth and de Jong emphasize the inherent beauty and value of nature, linking past and present in documenting and interpreting the transformations of the desert landscapes around Fukushima.
Francesca Todde – A Sensitive Education
Départ Pour l’Image, 2020
Hardback, 14,8 x 21 cm
96 pages + 16, color photographs
Suddenly, while flipping through A Sensitive Education, you come across a small sheet of music, which puts the chant of different species of birds on a pentagram. We do not know what Francesca Todde’s musical knowledge is, but we do know for sure that to a “who knows what bird is chirping outside the window” she would respond without hesitation, impeccably imitating the sound of the particular chick.
Tristan Plot is an enthusiastic bird educator, and has made it his business to care for birds. He prepares them to work with human beings in theatrical, dance or even documentary performances – as well as having them as valuable collaborators in ornithotherapy classes aimed at prisoners or people who fall into the so-called ‘fragile categories’.
It takes a special sensitivity to work with birds, another thing that the main character of the book share with the photographer. Tristan adopts a slow approach in his work that aims to recover the ancestral rhythm of nature. He does not want to train the birds he works with, he wants to understand them, recovering that ancient and now rare quality that allows man to perceive the slightest variations and microscopic movements that belong to the expressive world of animals.
Francesca Todde’s narrative is also slow, delicate, in tune with a natural rhythm that we have lost. Her account of Tristan is punctuated by small archival inserts, where the images present different temporal coordinates: a sort of collection of the memories of the birds.
The book closes with the presentation of all the winged characters: not by species, just by name. Each one’s short story is intrinsically linked to Tristan’s. He is the last one: the idea is to let him be completely described by his feathered friends.
Rebecca Norris Webb – My Dakota
1st Italian edition
Hardback, 22 x 25 cm
116 pages, 46 color photographs
Italian and English text
“Can loss have its own geography?”. This is the question that haunts Rebecca Norris Web as she composes My Dakota, a photographic work that originates in a dramatic event, the sudden death of her brother.
The only thing that seems to give her any comfort is to drive around and around the landscapes that accompanied her childhood and take photographs.
A sequence of intimate and poetic images is slowly created, accompanied by a few sentences that guide the viewer to the creation of this landscape of feelings, ‘her Dakota’.
My Dakota is a handwritten poem interwoven with the photographs. It speaks of human impact on planet earth, recording changes in the economy and landscape of this state in the heart of United States. It, too, is a eulogy: for the small family farms that are disappearing and the small towns they used to provide sustenance for.
Again, it’s Norris Webb’s way of dealing with the grief of his brother’s passing, “to absorb it, draw it out, and, finally, let it go.”
Marina Caneve – Are They Rocks or Clouds?
Softbound, 22 x 28 cm
160 pages, color photographs
Natural disasters have cyclical return times. According to hydrogeological studies, the tragic flood of 1966 in Trentino, Italy will reoccur in about fifty years. It is from this assumption that Marina Caneve’s work takes shape.
The author, through a lucid territorial survey and with the help of geologists and anthropologists, searches for a possibility of measuring the risk for the inhabitants of those places where the catastrophe is supposed to happen.
Are They Rocks or Clouds? includes archival images, texts and photographs taken by Caneve that lead to questions about our relationship with nature and the responsibilities we have as human inhabitants of planet Earth.
Total cost of the set: € 195,00
10% discount applied–> € 175,00
Also available in Deluxe version, with an additional title