Tag Archives: Environment

A Natural Order by Lucas Foglia

From urban beekeeping to artisanal pickling, there’s an uptick in America’s interest in doing it ourselves. Photographer Lucas Foglia has been in touch with this pre-consumer age mindset his entire life, having grown up on a small Long Island farm where, he says, his family “heated our house with wood, farmed and canned our food, and bartered the plants we grew for everything from shoes to dental work.” For the past five years the Yale-trained artist has been photographing a network of off-the-gird communities in the southeastern United States. The work has just been published in a lush, large-format monograph, A Natural Order.

Tucked away in the woods and fields of rural Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, some of the communities Foglia visited are religious, others are united by a passion for embracing ancestral ways of hunting, foraging and building, others are motivated by predictions of global economic collapse.

Foglia’s subjects live with equal measure grit and beauty. In one photo, a toddler in a grubby, winged fairy dress reclines on a quilt and gazes at the sky, a gnawed venison rib clutched in one hand. In another, a salvaged sink is propped on boards, and tucked into edenic bramble. His photos of interiors highlight their simple rustic allure, is if shot for a high-end design magazine for survivalists. A bathroom painted in a hip shade of teal features an abundance of fluffy monogrammed towels, pillar candles on a rough-hewn pedestal; in the claw-foot tub a butchered deer soaks, the seeping haunches surrounded in watermelon-pink bathwater.

The stories of what compelled any given individual to pursue this experience are untold in A Natural Order. Instead, through Foglia’s keen eye for detail and tremendous sense of composition, we simply get a glimpse of their way of life. However, clothing—or, alternatively, the lack thereof—clues us in as to which type of group they might belong. There are some long-haired parents and their cherubic children in their natural state. There are those wearing self-styled outfits made of hides and natural fibers. And there are Christian women and girls who wear modest homemade frocks, even in the swimming hole.

The general theme Foglia has taken on has been touched on by other contemporary art photographers over the last ten years, including Justine Kurland, Joel Sternfeld and Taj Forer. However, Foglia is particularly interested in the way these communities straddle the ancestral and the modern, as his own family did. “They do not wholly reject the modern world. Instead, they step away from it and choose the parts that they want to bring with them,” says Foglia of his subjects. Interested readers can even ferret out the websites of some of the communities he includes, and find themselves tempted to go there and take classes on traditional building or foraging for food. One can also gain insight—and learn real skills— from, Wildifoodin’ the anonymously –authored, illustrated ‘zine included with the book. Part journal, part survival manual, it reads like a poet’s version of the Whole Earth Catalog, the bible for 1970’s back-to-the-landers.

Foglia’s book implies that there is a new movement afoot, one whose philosophies are diverse, but all share self-reliance as a key value. If so, it’s right on time, economically speaking. In an era when houses can be foreclosed, and most of our food is from unknown sources, the beauty that Foglia’s pictures captures is a recognition of human needs: the needs to create, and to control our destinies.

A Natural Order is published by Nazraeli Press. You can see more of Lucas Foglia’s work here.

Joanna Lehan is a writer and curator living in New York City.

Edward Burtynsky’s View From Above

Edward Burtynsky while on location in Spain, 2010.

“I’m always interested in how humans shape the landscape,” says photographer Edward Burtynsky, a master at documenting the effects of industry on the nature for more than 20 years. “All my work is really about the pristine landscape being pushed back as a result of the expanding human footprint. And I kept thinking of farming as one of the largest terraforming events that humans have exercised on the planet.”

That interest is the inspiration behind Dryland Farming—on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery—one of two exhibitions paying tribute to Burtynsky’s career in New York City this fall. The other, on display at Howard Greenberg Gallery, takes a broader, retrospective look at the photographer’s 25-year career.

Dryland Farming features topographic landscape images from the Monegros region in northeastern Spain that the photographer shot from a helicopter about 2,000 feet above. “The colors and the shapes were like nothing I’d ever seen before,” Burtynsky says. “It reminded me of the abstract paintings of the 20th century, like [Pablo] Picasso’s Guernica.”

Burtynsky photographed the series in 2010, and the work is part of a larger project called Water, which the lensman began in 2008 and expects to complete in 2013. “I like to take a theme and start building ideas around it and trying to find the visual correlations to those ideas,” Burtynsky says. “Water was an interesting one to try to capture visually, especially if you look at agriculture in all its different forms as a subject that relates to water. The incredible farms and farming methodology in the Monegros region in Spain were certainly a huge part of that.”

Dryland Farming will be on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York from Oct. 26-Dec. 10. The Howard Greenberg Gallery exhibition in New York is on view from Oct. 27-Dec.10.

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

New Video: Tehila Cohen from reGeneration2

Yodle Reviews .

In this interview, photographer Tehila Cohen explains how she involves her family in her work to reveal the identity of an Israeli family through spontaneous actions from the subjects and their environment.

reGeneration2: tomorrow’s photographers today exhibition and accompanying publication, is presented by Aperture Foundation from January 20 through March 17, 2011, in collaboration with the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, and with the support of Pro Helvetia and the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

Following the worldwide critical acclaim of the book and exhibition reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow in 2005, a breakthrough publication for artists such as Pieter Hugo or Nathalie Czech, Aperture Foundation and Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, have collaborated on a new edition. This second volume and exhibitionâ€the broadest survey of its kindâ€features the works of eighty up-and-coming photographers selected from 120 of the world’s top photography schools.

Click here to view and purchase the reGeneration2: tomorrow’s photographers today book