Friday, August 1, 2008

the confrontational american landscape

speaking of terror-ists, i recently saw Christopher LaMarca's book Forest Defenders: The Confrontational American Landscape featured on Flak Photo.

his project follows the conflicts between activist "forest defenders" and the government and timber industry. this topic grabs me because i am always fascinated to see the Bush Administration's creation of new language to use as little missiles in the war for cultural viewpoint dominance... and i love to check and see which media outlets are using neologisms like "eco-terrorists" with and without scare quotes and/or editorial buy-in. (you can survey Google news for this. also, looks like the word "eco-terrorism" has its own Wikipedia page now.)

LaMarca and his publisher instead, in their blurb for the book, describe the forest defenders (rather sentimentally) as "much-maligned advocates who are willing to sacrifice their comforts and freedoms to stand up for wildlands."

i like the book's cover image (top) a lot—it gets its point of view across very boldly and immediately. i wonder if that is LaMarca's editorial and commercial photography background showing through, too.

point of view aside (can you ever put point of view aside?), i am compelled by the idea of a "confrontational American landscape," and LaMarca's photographic attempts to visualize that confrontation, through both portraiture and landscape work.

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