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Anastasia Samoylova «Black and White Mountains», 2015

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Black and White Mountains, 2015, from the series Landscape Sublime, archival pigment print, 80 × 100 cm / © Anastasia Samoylova


The mountains: there they are – enthroned up above the valley in sublime splendor. Be it in the Engadine or in the Rockies, they have an enduring appeal for photographers and have all already been photographed thousands of times. Each new image takes its place in the tradition of landscape photography, where mountain peaks and valleys appear untouched and primeval – as it were, drawing a veil over reality. There is never a glimpse of the hordes of tourists treading on each other’s toes. And it is the illusions that photographs can create that concern Russian artist Anastasia Samoylova (b. 1984, Moscow, RU). Instead of producing yet more stereotypical images of these places, she creates sculptures from folded paper prints of photographs that are readily available online. She then takes photographs of those paper sculptures. In small-format Internet images these still lifes look like beautiful landscapes. It is only when we see a large-format print that we realize the image is merely an illusion.

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