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Jo de Banzie‘s series Harvest explores the wounds of war and is centered around the Battle of Messines, which occurred in Belgium in 1914. de Banzie couples wet plate images of war detritus collected from the battlefield with those of a fictitious war garden, using the metaphor of the harvest to create a direct connection between the destruction of land and body and the nurturing that goes into growing food. These two antithetical harvests coexist as specimens of love and war.
In his project Felicific Calculus, Eric Kunsman documents the still-functioning payphones in his home city of Rochester, New York and incorporates demographic and economic data maps into his presentations of the project. By using this specific type of social marker – which provides a lifeline to many people – Kunsman strives to combat misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the neighborhoods in which working payphones exist and the people who live there.
In his series Protected Lands, Lang uses a technique he calls “geometric dodging” to impose geometric forms upon his images of national parkland in order to convey the sense of containment he felt when visiting these sites during the pandemic. The contrast between the organic and the inorganic in these images reflects the tenuous relationship between humanity and the natural world tied into the concept of land management.
During lockdown, media depictions of a depopulated Venice prompted Ingrid Newton to revisit her archive of images from the city she considers her spiritual home. The resulting project of platinum/palladium prints – titled Venetian Dreams – portrays Venice in a romanticized light yet captures the emptiness the city experienced during the pandemic. It depicts the dichotomous nature of the the Floating City through the dramatic interplay of light and shadow.
Icelandic photographer Gudmundur Oli Palmason captures the desolate, often abandoned landscapes of his home country using manipulated Polaroid negatives. His work explores issues such as rural-to-urban migration and questions whether there is a connection between the severance of humans from the natural world and the severance of humanity’s physical existence from the spiritual.
Featured in this issue’s In Conversation are the images and words of Citlali Fabian and Shane Balkowitsch, whose we plate portrait series of indigenous peoples differ in scope and perspective but share concerns with the relationship – both pre-existing and nurtured – between photographer and sitter, community, representation, and the intimate experience of creating a portrait using the wet plate process.