18 April 2011
Michael Light's photographs give human endeavour a new perspective
Given that Michael Light’s most famous photographic works deal with atomic bombs and rockets to the moon, it seems appropriate to ask why he is drawn to themes so epic in scale and dramatic in their implications, writes David Thompson in Eye 51.
‘Certainly I love high drama,’ he replies, ‘but I think it’s more accurate to say that I’m drawn to the aesthetic of largeness, of all that is beyond ourselves, precisely because we’d be better off if we didn’t go around feeling like we were the biggest and most important things. Artistically, I’m concerned with power and landscape, and how we as humans relate to vastness – to that point at which our ego and sense of efficaciousness crumbles …’
‘In my opinion, serious contemporary artistic production dealing with landscape must deal with politics and violence in some way, whether explicit or implied. Otherwise it’s just fluff, decoration for those wanting false comfort and a delusionally ahistorical and apolitical world.’
This is an extract from Exposure by David Thompson in Eye 51 (Spring 2004). For more posts from our archive, click here.
See also ‘Above the clouds’ on the Eye blog about the current exhibition at Daniel Blau.
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