"The paradoxical beauty that these images produce flows, in large part, from the profoundly unindividuated and repetitive landscapes that make up this image of the city. A certain fundamental indifference to individual aspiration is produced by its bordering enormities, an indifference perhaps accentuated or exacerbated by the apparently personal seductions of advertisements that everywhere seem to trumpet the virtues of individuality in deeply impersonal terms. The city in these images is ringed not only by deserts and seas, but governed by the profoundly inorganic and faceless forces of a ruthless economic logic, an indifferent ecology, and a vast media industry concerned with individuals only at the distant level of statistics.

This disjuncture is of course primarily rhetorical, but it is persuasive because over the extent of a sequence, the specificity with which it is articulated speaks to deeper general truths of urban life. If Los Angeles is in so many ways equated with the stage, a vast sprawling microcosm capable of reflecting all conceivable parts of the globe, then it is as much as anything a city of ideas – a place in which immaterial ideas have been and can (ostensibly) be transformed into reality. Among the more bitter notes of irony in these photographs is the illustration of the great extent of the mismatch between aspiration and earth, between conception and possibility. Just as the city seems to have run away with itself, constantly disappearing under the depth of fog and haze that blankets the fullest extent of its enormity, so the very plates on which it rest seem stretched beyond breaking point, soils exhausted, grasses lean and withered. Between the dream and the visceral fact there is a stubborn and implausibly broad gulf, a gulf which at repeated instances seems to be extending even as small labours seek to paper over the cracks, shift hedgerows back into alignment, blanket up-rushing flames in small tanks full of water.”

— from the essay “The Pattern of Small Human Pacings" on the work of photographer Karin Apollonia Müller, just published at thegreatleapsideways.com

@1 year ago with 91 notes
#Photography #The Great Leap Sideways #Karin Apollonia Müller #Landscape photography #Documentary photography #Street photography 
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