DENVER — Nontraditional technologies and materials aimed at re-imagining the category of landscape photography are one of the many strengths of the exhibition New Territory: Landscape Photography Todayat the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition’s curator, Eric Paddock noted at the press event, “process-dominant photographic work blurs the distinctions between ‘observed’ and ‘constructed’ imagery, between the ‘real’ and ‘ideal’ landscapes.” Approaching 100 images by 40 artists, New Territory avoids cliché and elicits a sense of, how the hell did they do that? Most surprising is the number of landscape photographers who never enter the landscape, introducing new relationships within the genre and medium.
Contemporary photographers are pressed to consider how to uniquely communicate through their medium to audiences in which everyone totes a camera. Artist Dan Holdsworth captured 3D imagery of Bossons Glacier in the Alps by drone. For “Bossons Glacier no. 16” (2016), the artist used the latest photogrammetric and geo-cartographic innovations to trace the contours of the glacier, with each pixelated point colored and edited by his hand. The intervention endows the monumental and ancient formation with the fragility of silk and intangibility of fog. Capturing the vulnerability of the environment’s grandest spaces in this manner quickly unravels their perceived permanence.