The description Dutch landscape may evoke an idyllic vision reminiscent of Dutch landscape paintings, but today the Netherlands is known for its planned, manipulated landscape. In the last two decades a number of Dutch photographers and filmmakers have taken contemporary Dutch landscape and nature as their point of departure. George Eastman House
presents a major survey of this new work, titled Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art, on view June 13 through Aug. 16. It is a companion show to the Eastman House summer exhibition New Topographics, originally mounted in 1975, illustrating the profound influence of that exhibition on the generations that have followed.
Affected by a global reordering of production and industry, the agrarian function of the Dutch landscape is making way for suburbanization, recreation, industrial and business parks and infrastructure for transportation. The country is in the throes of a continual process of spatial planning, and reorganization, said Maartje van den Heuvel, curator of Nature as Artifice. The radically artificial nature of things like greenhouses, waterworks, polders with gleaming new designer cities, and geometrically patterned nature areas that were designed just yesterday often imbue the Dutch landscape with a distinctive visual appeal.
Nature as Artifice opened in June 2008 at Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, and traveled to Neue Pinakothek in Munich, Germany. After the Eastman House display, Nature as Artifice will travel to Aperture Gallery in New York City, Sept. 10 through Oct. 29, 2009.