Anne C Godfrey photography

Anne C Godfrey 2007

Phenomenal Landscape Experience

I drift with the camera, creating layered images on film while walking through both new and familiar places.  These images transcend a static pictorial representation of landscape space creating a sense of movement and time, more closely representing my psychological and physical experiences.  Inspired by the playfulness of the derive and the foundational ideas of the Situationists, I engage in pyschogeographic drifting as a way to detach myself from predetermined agendas in place.  In doing so I create a sense of true visceral and phenomenal experience in these images.  Breaking the traditional confines of the frame while still honoring the birth of the image within the camera, these images are made in the “old fashioned” way and act as true recordings of the moment, rather than reconstructions of my memory in a digital realm.

Drifting allows one to comprehend the world around her in an unmediated way. To drift, to walk with no agenda while paying close attention to one’s emotional reactions to a place, allows for more possibilities in landscape experience. Often as a landscape designer and photographer my experience must be mediated to meet the goals of my visit i.e. preparing for site design or creating images for a client.  I feel a level of landscape understanding is lost when we mediate our experience through a set agenda, even though we are often required to do so to succeed in our tasks.  I turn to my own creative work in photography to remove the filters of the practice in order to re-discover deep landscape experience.

I see my work as a more open ended, less clichéd and truly a more genuine way to explore iconic and vernacular landscape spaces.  As a theorist and historian I believe photographs of especially well know landscapes predetermine a visitor’s experience of, for example, Yosemite or Rome.  Many of these places become picturesque photographic icons, and thus become inert and static in terms of how we comprehend these places.  Through my work I hope to reinvigorate the way we look at landscape.

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