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Margherita Spiluttini: Beyond Nature - Constructions of Landscape

review

Technisches Museum Wien/Fotohof, 2002. 136pp. £22. Distributor 020 8747 1061

'My interest focuses on cites and landscapes, on materials, on streets, on all the things we have created our world with - irrespective of whether it is a formed type of architecture or just something that came about anonymously and by chance, 'says the Austrian photographer Margherita Spiluttini. In Beyond Nature she scrutinises the Alps: not the Romantic territory of Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, where the only trace of man is the solitary climber on the foreground peak, but a region progressively annexed by human intervention - spanned by bridges and motorways, pierced by tunnels, terraced by quarries and reconfigured by damns. In the past, such subjects have been given the 'heroic technology'treatment, or their aesthetic qualities have been maximised (Robert Maillart's bridges); more dominant of late (in newspapers at least, if not in galleries) has been a lament for ravaged nature. Spiluttini, though, is hard to pin down: while many images here are candidates for the 'ravaged'category, with rawlooking banks of rubble, quarry debris in the mist, one curving dam by a sunlit blue lake is as graceful as an advertiser could wish.

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