Environmental Fine Prints – Magnum Photos

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Prints

Environmental Fine Prints

Landscape has always been an element within the Magnum Photos archive – in the old print distributions, the “establishing shot” set the scene for the story narrative, providing context and a sense of place. Even in the early days of the agency there were those photographers who explored landscape as part of their personal work – Werner Bischof photographing war-ravaged Europe or reveling in the beauty of the Swiss Alps, for example. More recently photographers such as Stuart Franklin have specifically addressed the politics of landscape in his project on climate change: Footprint: Our Landscape In Flux.

Amongst these self-contained compositions, are pictures of contested terrain (see the sculptural explosions in Bruno Barbey’s photograph from the Vietnam war) and urban sprawl (Jonas Bendiksen’s panorama of a Venezualan barrio), environmental phenomena (Jean Gaumy’s dreamlike Norwegian glacier) and images that have encapsulated a nation’s identity (from the lush middle American backgrounds of Paul Fusco’s Funeral Train to Chris Steele-Perkins’s Mount Fuji in Japan).

A commission of Magnum’s work by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) for the COP21 conference will be shown at the Musée de L’Homme from 4 November to 4 January 2016.

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