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In the Einaudi Encyclopaedia, for the entry “Ruína/Restauro”, Carlo Carena (quoting), states that landscape is nature seen through culture. After the immanent Romanticism – truth is an intrinsic part of art - as well as anti-Illuminist, obviously no landscape released itself from this “cultural nature”, in which both poles, nature and culture, configure a thought of their own and a knowledge form. Nature becomes inseparable from the human and, shall we say, archetypal, remote presence, having dissolved and geminated the human trace in the land, under the shape of carcasses of buildings and ruins - which in fact are as alive as shrubs and forests.

This romantic cultural landscape is held for contemplation either on physical, ideal or ideological terms. In beauty thus harmoniously expressed no "wounds" exist, since the ruin is nature still, as it was not absorbed, it voluntarily "merged"; and nature is a concept, a cultural image of a period of time and a particular sensitivity. However, in order that no wounds exist - besides the one that consists of remaining as culture - a landscape agrees with the real natural laws, considering that romanticism and truth are close to synonyms. Anyhow it must dismiss two realities, two moments in time: this nature departs from the idealization of French artists that marked Poussin and Claude Lorrain’s seventeenth century Roman scene, besides bourgeois taste, both rational and narrative, partly inherited from Hubert Robert and Vernet’s Illuminism.

Romantic landscape creates the myth of an encounter or the mirage of an encounter deprived of confrontation, between nature and culture - just as if no and industry takes hold of science. A drama, in the words of Heidegger: first science secretly becomes technique, then it surrenders to necessity, to economy and obviously, to industry. Dominance.

What once was contemplation becomes fear – a feeling aroused by these photographs, even if in the form of unavoidable perplexity, fear and unbelief in reason, which in the twentieth century was classified as “instrumental”. Fear, dream, nightmare and a hint of sublime, are revealed in these landscapes captured in quarries by Tito Mouraz, challenging us with the old saying about dreaming of this either desolated or abyssal monumentality: the dream of reason generates monsters.

It is not romantic contemplative matter anymore. These photographs do not reveal actual landscapes, but their belly, raped by a human yet humanless force, a mixture of desolation, destruction and reconstruction – as a result of the purpose of destruction. All the perversity of technique is out into the open: nature is raped and distorted, but technique reproduces and replaces all its previous contemplative elements in a set up where true and false cannot be ascertained. A forgery demanded by work and economic ambition.

Every part of a “virgin” landscape is present: cliffs, vegetation on the ravines - these ones oddly redesigned in an unprecedented "closed world", and copper salt lakes creating the illusion natural paradises, not artificial ones.

However, it should be noted that this photography is not meant to make value or moral judgements. Photography registers – just as film - with its devices and equipment, so says Stanley Cavell. Nevertheless it does not make a passive register. It recomposes the world under a new natural order.

In Hymns to the Night, Novalis calls upon the utmost importance of descending from ridges and pinnacles to valleys and of knowing either by natural or by poetics means, how to cross those horizontal planes in nature, till far out of sight. Nonetheless these photographs show almost nothing but lines, cracks, vertical marks. Even the vertiginous immensity of the cliffs is vertical. Regarding composition, the vertical lines signal the victory of reason and technique. And these are the two dimensions of the world photography has to deal with, being in itself a technique for reproducing images. It is however, a technique lead by human look, a very special one, the “photographer’s look”, as opposed to the “Cartesian look” - passive and similar to the dark room functioning, because Descartes was an admirer of every optical invention. These photographs are therefore the result of an experienced “photographer’s look”, existing between technology and nature. 

Carlos Vidal