Ideas Series: Mishka Henner – Dutch Landscapes

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'...the ground began to flatten out beneath us. It looked cut into brown squares, yellow squares, green squares, and big fat blotches of green where there was a forest. I began to understand cubist painting.’ Ernest Hemingway, on his first flight in a plane, from The Toronto Daily Star, 1921.

The sweet taste of landscape is just the sugar coating to a bitter history of disguise, occlusion and obliteration. Or at least that’s what we’ve been told over the last three or four decades as the genre that was once compared to money – ‘good for nothing in itself, but expressive of a potentially limitless reserve of value’ – has become a systematically devalued currency. But now things are happening, suddenly the landscape is alive again, as the contests and conceits excavated from its history of representation seem to be finding their way back, by some peculiar rebounding, into the physical and virtual worlds in which we now live and work.

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Mishka Henner is an artist based in Manchester. He was included in the exhibition From Here On at Les Rencontres d’Arles 2011. His self-published book, Dutch Landscapes, is available at www.mishkahenner.com

Published in Photoworks, Issue 17, 2011
Commissioned by Photoworks.

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