As a young boy, I daydreamed about exploring and experiencing wild places. I was fascinated by the expeditions of early American explorers and the vast wilderness they encountered. I realized, as I got older, that I would never experience nature as these explorers once had. The American landscape, well before I was born, had been mapped, divided, documented, tamed, and confined to areas that were monitored and managed. Nature had been demystified by science; it was reshaped and rationalized by the notion of progress. As a result, my generation was left with fragments, modifications, representations and resemblances of nature.
These photographs depict my explorations of the Florida landscape, specifically its mountains. The project continues in the tradition of American landscape photography that was established and developed by Carleton E. Watkins, Ansel Adams, and their contemporaries. These images do not present the pristine or the magnificent scenery typical of early landscape photography; rather, these images are resemblances of natural landscapes. I see these piles of dirt as metaphors. They are not mountains; instead, they are indications of a transformation and act as painful reminders of a natural grandeur that no longer exists. Traditional landscape photographers might capture a rugged peak for its existing beauty. I photograph these mounds to remind the viewer of the beauty that has been lost to progress. Not only are we losing what our society finds aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, we are rapidly degrading what sustains us.
Bio and contact:
Alexander Diaz is a photo-based artist who received his MFA from the University of Florida. His work is a marriage of documentary photography and conceptual art. Diaz utilizes photography to express his concerns and to comment on environmental issues, consumption, identity, and place. Alexander is currently living in St. Augustine, FL and teaching photography at the University of North Florida.
Alexander is a St. Augustine, FL, based photographer.
To view more of his work, please visit his website: alexdiazphoto.com
You can also contact him by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org