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The Representation Of The Australian Landscape In Contemporary Visual Culture - Essay Example

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The paper "The Representation Of The Australian Landscape In Contemporary Visual Culture" uses Mitchell’s arguments about the understanding of landscape art to argue on examples that Australian landscape in contemporary visual culture can be construed as political…
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The Representation Of The Australian Landscape In Contemporary Visual Culture
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The Representation Of The Australian Landscape In Contemporary Visual Culture

Download file to see previous pages... Mitchell’s opinion in his work, According to WJT Mitchell, landscape as a subject in painting has caught the attention of artists in the seventeenth century and reached its zenith in the nineteenth century. His essay Imperial Landscape is very argumentative where he not only describes his understanding of landscape as a medium of communication between man and nature and between self and the other but he further problematizes the concept of self-questioning the assumptions related to ‘we’ as opposed to the ‘other’, the nature (Mitchell, 2002, p.6). It should be the historical study of the development of landscape painting tradition that Mitchell aligned with the rise and fall of imperialism. Keeping this in mind and using appropriate examples the paper moves forward to illustrate the political undertone reflected in Australian artworks. The landscape has always been interpreted as a manifestation of the spirit of the land in the Western colonization process, be it Africa or India or China or Australia. How Nature acts as an active resisting force in the perception of colonizers is probably nowhere more clearly expressed than in Conrad’s novels like, Heart of Darkness. In case of Australia as well, the nation was perceived primarily as hostile and incomprehensible. Compared to the peace of English garden, it was considered disorderly and chaotic. It posed a serious threat to the White colonial paranoia, a destabilization of the national identity of the whites. But their presentation of Australian landscape was rather a representation—defined by their own vision and habits. Beilharz questions this phenomenon and asked why ‘representation of Australia looked like England’ (Beilharz, 2002, p. 29). To answer this, Beilharz fingers at the ‘formal qualities of the landscape to which they [British] were aesthetically accustomed in England’ (Beilharz, 2002, p.29). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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