Landscape and the Moving Image (Book)

New exploration of how the moving image mediates our relationship to and understanding of landscapes. The focus is on artists’ film and video and draws on work from the 1970s to the present day. An informed, personal view from a high profile author considering if appreciation of nature’s aesthetics undermines commitment to ecology. 30b/w illus.


Catherine Elwes takes readers on a journey through the twin histories of landscape art and experimental moving image to reveal how they coalesce in the work of artists from the 1970s to the present day. Written in a clear, engaging style and drawing on a wide geographical sampling, Elwes considers issues that have preoccupied film and video artists over the years, ranging from ecology, gender, race, performativity, conflict, colonialism, and our relationship to the nonhuman creatures with whom we share our world. The book conveys Elwes’s belief that artists can provide an embodied, emotional response to landscape, which is an essential driver in the urgent task of combating the environmental crisis we now face. Enlivened by the author’s own experiences as a video artist, writer, and curator and informed by conversations with fellow practitioners, the book offers an informed, personal view of the subject.

Elwes as a practitioner was a key figure in the early phases of video art in the United Kingdom and, at the same time, worked as a curator and critic. Until her retirement, she was professor of moving image art at the University of the Arts London; she is founding editor of the Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) and author of Video Art: A Guided Tour (2005) and Installation and the Moving Image (2015).

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