John Pfahl has been making beautiful and often uncanny photographs of evidence of the human hand in the natural world since the 70's.
Altered Landscapes (1979) is Pfahl`s earliest and probably best-known series. In it the photographer takes rather ordinary landscapes and imposes his own handiwork upon them, in the form of colored string and tape, rope, foil and other man-made materials.
Pfahl has been quoted as saying that 'pure and natural landscapes don't interest me at all'. In the 'Altered Landscapes' series the human interventions, such as the tree-trunks painted to match the color of the horizon, apparently cutting the tree trunks in two, transform one's perception of the image. What would be a simple landscape becomes an ambiguous, layered construct, where it is difficult to identify what is 'natural' and that is a human construct. Like Picasso's Cubist portrait, foreground and background collide to form new spatial relationships.
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