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Vue des Environs de Birmingham


artist | Stefano Canto

2015

Collage

100 × 80 x 10 cm / 39.4 × 31.5 x 3.9 in

Framed (Dark brown)

Antique print on cotton paper, laser-cut and reassembled manually applied on transparent plastic and colour cardboard.

This work is part of the series 'Re-composed Landscapes'.

Inspired by the observation of global socio-geographical changes, Stefano Canto digs into the story of ... Read more
Antique print on cotton paper, laser-cut and reassembled manually applied on transparent plastic and colour cardboard.

This work is part of the series 'Re-composed Landscapes'.

Inspired by the observation of global socio-geographical changes, Stefano Canto digs into the story of landscapes that express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment. It is the story of endless landscapes, which the artist runs through, calling certitudes into question and making the course of this process visible and almost didactic.

Decomposition and re-composition are recurrent actions in his artistic practice. This modality – that is typical in Neoplasticism as in other movements that are much studied in recent times, like the Russian Constructivism – underlays the group of works, which could be re-title with affectedness Re-composed Landscapes. These works comprise a series of antique prints representing natural landscapes, which have been laser-cutted, according to a strict repetitive triangular pattern. The landscape is therefore deconstructed into basic forms that evoke the fractal geometric patterns of Sierpinski or Richard Buckminster Fuller. Some of these triangular elements have been subsequently taken apart and reassembled, by hand, to build skeletons of architectural structures, which invade natural space and deconstruct it at the same time. The voids become full and the natural, unnatural. The original background images from a landscapes are subject to a process of screening and measurement, in this way almost converting them into palimpsests of materials and elements of architectural construction, offering again a primordial mode of architectural operation that is used to single out locally available materials to build a man-made landscape that, unequivocally, could only dialog and integrate with the original, natural one. Stefano Canto’s research questions the concept of what the World Heritage Committee has defined as “cultural landscapes” which consist in a combination of works of nature and humankind. The geographer Otto Schlüter formally used the definition of “cultural landscape” as an academic term in the early 20th century. He defined two forms of landscapes: the Urlandschaft (original landscape) and the Kulturlandschaft (cultural landscape) that means a landscape shaped by human culture. According to the human geographer Carl O. Sauer: “culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result".
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