Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Paradise City.

Paradise City. Photographs by Hans Bol. Recto Verso, 2011. 144 pp., illustrated throughout, 24x30 cm. Edition of 700, limited edition of 60.

I was not familiar with the work of Hans Bol before I found this book, but I really love the textural quality and the Strindberg-influence of the work in 'Paradise City' and am keen to see more as a result.

Watch Bol work in this short by filmmaker Martin van den Oever (if you understand Dutch - I don't - you can also hear the interview). For the limited edition and/or book design and more extensive information about the book go here and scroll down.

Book description:

"Driving south over the A12 from Genova to Livorno in Italy, along the westside of the Apennines, the area around Carrara from a distance looks as if we see perpetual snow. However, those who know the area, know better. It is not snow we are seeing, but negligent downhill dumping of debris from the marblequarries.

It is an eccentric landscape that has a special mix of romanticism, large-scale and first-rate production techniques and massive economic interests.

By visiting the area for over a period of more than twenty years, Hans Bol has been able to investigate the quarries from different angles, all organically related with each other. First, he was struck by the fantastic light in the quarries; then he was fascinated by the material itself and the traces the work process left behind.

As a result he started to see the quarry as one, big sculpture, in which coincedence played a major role - the work process in the quarry itself led to interesting shapes and structures that were condensed into abstract sculptures through the lens.

Finally, also influenced by the work of The New Topographics, he saw and recorded the immense damage done to nature in this impressive western part of the central Apeninnes.

Aloof beauty seemed to have to go hand in hand with cruel attacks on the landscape. Thus, a new, other landscape has come into being that may be read as a methaphor for human interaction with nature."

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