‘How beautiful you are, my land‘
Peter Dobroslav Bella Horal
Landscape evokes memories of the places, which we have been to; places that our desire guides us to go and see something new there. If not for other reason, we are longing for a change – what needs to be done should be done because the times are like these. But what about our HOMEland?
LANDSCAPE captured on camera by Boris Németh and Ján Viazanička represents a shifting value dominated by human trace. Willingly or not, we have to admit that immaculate views of haystacks in line, distant mountain ranges and familiar shapes of the peaks cannot be spotted so easily anymore. Almost everywhere, there can be found tangible evidence of human activity. Although by definition the word landscape is used in reference to nature or culture, the authors‘ photographs capture the atmosphere between these two terms, which manifests before our very eyes. Human has found home in the landscape; privatised meadows; cleared the land of trees; ruined the fences, and not only that. Gradually, views of nature are being pushed aside; natural existence of the landscape is being replaced with the human notion about the purpose of its use.
Everyday, we are leaving traces captured by the photographers ; typical traces captured without romanticizing. Their view shows our country, state, a piece of land on the planet. They uncover the very term of landscape, capturing its meaning in a new millenium. They observe the process of change as population grows while privatising living space of those who cannot defend themselves. We are building houses and factories, crossing the landscape with highways and changing it with our own glamour. Proudly we reach the top of the hills, ideally those which offer us a good coffee and hospitality. Over and over again, we walk the new paths until the rocks get washed away to the valley. And in case we don’t have much time to walk through the land, we try to bring it with us – we re-create our environment for the sake of a dream palm beach without bothering about a trash bin on the corner of the building. What will do nicely is an illusion that everything is as it should be. Living through the changes makes them pass unnoticed. Vast fields of cereals have been replaced with yellow oil-seed rape. Illusions about fortunate countryside have been pushed out for information panels recommending us an inexpensive bit to eat. The journey take us through the highways as if they were air bridges, leaving us no time to stop by. Or – to pull over, get a ham sandwich and take a look at what we are really heading toward. The vastness of the landscape and its beauty resides in people who are living there. By our excessive activity and ignorance, we are re-creating it in our own image.
Through the project Transformations of Slovakia, both photographers have managed to find us in the landscape concerned. In this way LANDSCAPE can be seen as a greeting card from Slovakia, showing how much it has evolved in the image of human.
What then is our LANDSCAPE like?
KRAJINA / LANDSCAPE, 24. 8. – 30. 9. 2018, Fotografie / Photography: Boris Németh, Ján Viazanička, Kurátor / Curator: Miriam Petráňová, Grafický dizajn / Graphic design: Matúš Lelovský, Editorka / Editor: Frédérique Hazéová, Preklad / Translation: Milan Zvada, Tlač / Print: Typocon s.r.o., Vydala / Published by: Galéria Miloša Alexandra Bazovského v Trenčíne, 2018, Séria fotografií je súčasťou projektu Premeny Slovenska / A series of photographs is part of the project Transformations of Slovakia.