"I'm especially interested in the challenge of making photos in which the roles of figure and ground are reversible, or even nonexistent. Philosophically, I feel we must get beyond a perception of nature as mere scenery. Gorgeous wall calendars from Sierra Club and the like offend me at a very basic level; nature porn does nothing for the cause of conservation."His words reminded me also of some black and white photos which I loved and have often returned to, by my hero, John Berger, in his volume of poetry, Pages of the Wound. You'd have to say they're landscapes, I think, not 'landscapes with figure', because they're on a single plane.
In the valley
The mouth of the river like a rumour
Whispers water in the ear of the fields.
Before it is dark
From this summit my mountain
You must descend me.
Photos and extract from At Remaurian - 6, by John Berger in Pages of the Wound: poems, drawings, photographs, 1956-96My next thought, when Dave's words made me go back yet again to these pictures, was: attractive as I find them, are these meldings of woman with landscape just more of the crassest kind of objectification of the female form? (goodness me, by the critic best known for excoriating this in his famous Ways of Seeing!) In context, I don't think so: pictures of his own naked body also feature in this book and often elsewhere in his work, and the poem seems to equate both his own and the lover's body with the landscape.
Anyway, there's a spare beauty that gets me every time.