By Holly Markovitz Goldstein
This dissertation positions modern images of iconic American frontier websites as visible embodiments of revisionist historical past. Artists Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Deborah shiny, and Robert Adams use images to re-image and re-write American panorama historical past; they examine conflicting narratives of nationhood and reinterpret the legacies of nineteenth-century photographers. Klett and Pfahl eventually perpetuate the parable of the frontier via suggesting that the state is as appealing and wealthy in assets now because it was once within the 19th century. in contrast, vibrant and Adams depict recognized frontier websites as sleek ruins, revealing that America's ethnic, classification, and gender relatives and its ecological health and wellbeing are fragile and risky. In bankruptcy One, the Rephotographic Survey venture, created via Klett, JoAnn Verburg and Ellen Manchester, makes use of geological repeat-photography to guage current landscapes opposed to the earlier; this intentionally banal comparability of "then" and "now" situates the western frontier as a altering indicator of nationwide cultural identification. In bankruptcy , Klett's panoramic picture- collages of Yosemite and the Grand Canyon place the West as a university of historical past, created by means of generations of layered inventive, documentary, and advertisement imagery. In bankruptcy 3, Pfahl's Arcadia Revisited sequence employs chic and picturesque aesthetics to depict today's Niagara Falls because the eye-catching vacationer vacation spot it used to be designed to be a century in the past, mostly ignoring the region's present ecological devastation. bankruptcy 4 argues that of Bright's New England-based initiatives divulge biases in traditional American historic narratives: Glacial Erratic unearths Plymouth Rock, a website of imagined patriotic reminiscence, to be seriously inscribed with histories of violence and oppression, and happen depicts crumbling stone boundary partitions as websites of energy and resistance. In bankruptcy 5, Adams's Turning again re-examines the Lewis and Clark excursion at the party of its bicentennial; images depicting ghastly scenes of big deforestation within the Pacific Northwest show an American dream long gone awry. Klett and Pfahl's confident images depict an iconic frontier that keeps to draw travelers, motivate artists, and gas patriotism. but Bright's imprisoned Plymouth Rock represents the inconsistencies of yankee background, and Adams's simple forests disclose the tragic aftermath of western exploration.
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Extra info for American Landscapes as Revisionist History: The Frontier Photographs of Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Deborah Bright and Robert Adams
This dissertation is informed by both cultural geography and a Foucauldian examination of encoded power and discipline within geology. See Michael Foucault, The Archaeology ofKnowledge and the Discourse on Language (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970). I adapt Foucault's discussion of the power and discipline encoded in societies and systems to the ways in which humans and photographs exert power over the landscape. , Understanding Ordinary Landscapes (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997). 65 Groth and Bressi, 1.
28 As discussed in each chapter, Klett, Pfahl, Bright, and Robert Adams all respond to Ansel Adams's work, which established masterfully-crafted compositions of romanticized wilderness as the dominant photographic landscape aesthetic in America. While recognizing Ansel Adams's important contributions to their genre, many contemporary landscape photographers intentionally distance their work from their predecessor. Whereas they generally The literature on Adams is vast. For the artist's own perspective, see Ansel Adams, Our National Parks, Andrea G.
50 Photography became a medium with a history of its own to be mined, reconsidered, and revised. As discussed below, it is crucial that all the projects discussed here employ photography as the method of communication, and they all reflect upon the medium's history. 52 Environmental History merged the new trend of revisionist historicism with a growing scholarly and popular interest in the environment. 53 Federal funding for environmental protection was increased during the Nixon and Carter administrations, and in 1970 Nixon signed a stringent See, for example, Sarah Greenough, et.