The Picturesque. By Jan Kempenaers. Roma Publications, 2012. 80 pp., illustrated throughout throughout, 33,5x26,5cm. In collabortion with Academy of Fine Arts Ghent. Images from here.
"Book with 45 landscapes and architecture photographs by Kempenaers. This book, together with his previous book 'Spomenik' (2010) present the results of Kempenaers' practice based research on 'contemporary picturesque'.
Dirk De Meyer, quoted from this book: "Yet, even when gratifying due to their composition and "their living tints and endless varieties", Kempenaers' photographs of landscapes altered by man forestall the nostalgia that has, over time, become typical for the picturesque. They force the viewer to remain in the present and think about its conditions and its future, and about the forces threatening our environment.
Using Gilpin's topoi of the picturesque - which, by now, are themselves 'classical' - Kempenaers' images confront us with the picturesque's slightly disconcerting aspects.
As one visitor of the 1975 New Topographics exhibition at the George Eastman House observed, the photographs on display were saying "This is it, kid; take it for its beauty and its ugliness." "