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Landscape and the Moving Image

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Elwes takes a journey through the twin histories of landscape art and experimental moving image and discovers how they coalesce in the work of artists from the 1970s to the present day.

Drawing on a wide geographical sampling, Elwes considers issues that have preoccupied film and video artists over the years, ranging from ecology, gender, race, performativity, conflict, colonialism and our relationship to the nonhuman creatures with whom we share our world. The book is informed by the belief that artists can provide an embodied, emotional response to landscape, which is an essential driver in the urgent task of combating the environmental crisis we now face.

The book comprises a series of essays that explore how the moving image mediates our relationship to and understanding of landscapes. The focus is on artists’ film and video and draws on work from the 1970s to the present day. Early chapters map the theoretical terrain for both landscape and artists’ moving image creating a foundation for the chapters that follow devoted to practice. These address themes of identity politics, performativity and animals and examine examples of British ‘weather-blown films’ and work from around the world including Indigenous Australian film landscapes. The book offers an informed, personal view of the subject and threaded through the narrative is a concern with the environment and the vexed question of whether an appreciation of nature’s aesthetics undermines a commitment to ecology.

The book is written in a clear, engaging style and is enlivened by Elwes's own experiences as a video artist, writer and curator, and the primary material she draws on derived from conversations with fellow practitioners across the years.

As a practitioner, Elwes was a key figure in the early phases of video art in the UK as well as a curator and critic. She was professor of moving image art at the University of the Arts London; and is founding editor of the Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ)

This book will appeal to students, undergraduate and post-graduate, Ph.D. candidates, researchers, practitioners, teachers and lecturers and a general readership of interested gallery-going public.

Related Topics: Visual Arts

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