The extent to which natural disaster protection became part of the European landscape is the topic of “State of Nature”. Claudius Schulze travelled about 50,000 km across Europe, photographing with a large format view camera down from an aerial work platform seemingly picturesque landscapes.
The extent to which natural disaster protection became part of the European landscape is the topic of “State of Nature”. Claudius Schulze travelled about 50,000 km across Europe, photographing with a large format view camera down from an aerial work platform seemingly picturesque landscapes. But each of those idyllic sceneries contains imperfections: alpine panoramas are crossed by snow sheds, the North Sea coast is furrowed by breakwaters. In each of the photographs protective structures rise into the landscape. In the age of the Anthropocene climate change and extreme weather constantly increase the threads of gales, floods, and avalanches; it‘s civil protection agencies maintaining ordinary life. These pictures are not about defining the boundary between “artificial” and “natural”. On the contrary, the defences are the prerequisite to these landscapes: the sunshine sparkles on the surface of the mountain lakes only because it was artificially dammed, the dunes only rise because they are protected against storm surges. In the “First World” the lawns are watered, the rivers kept in check by levees, the mountains opened up to winter sports. It’s no wonder Europeans tend to regard nature as picturesque, appealing, tamed. They forgot about nature’s sublime and threatening side thanks to the defenses put in place. Civilization is well protected against the dangers of nature and those that come from environmental pollution and unrestrained carbon emissions. At the moment, we still profit from driving climate change through our consumption. At the moment the catastrophes we have equipped ourselves for and which are the consequences of our actions are largely felt elsewhere and not with us, not in the “First World.” At the moment we are still living carefree – in the belief of the picturesque beauty of nature surrounding us, while elsewhere, catastrophic nature strikes harder than it ever did.
Claudius Schulze (1984) is a photographer and researcher. His work has appeared in numerous international publications including e.g. GEO, Stern, Der Spiegel, National Geographic Traveller, and GQ. His works have been exhibited in London, New York, Istanbul, Berlin, at Rencontres Arles, and Amsterdam, among others, and are held internationally in private and public collections.
In 2012, Claudius Schulze was selected as one of Germany’s top 30 journalists under 30. The collaborative project “The Stuff of Europe” earned Claudius Schulze and Oskar Piegsa a „VOCER Medialab“-scholarship in 2013. In 2014 Claudius received a Hansel-Mieth- Award. His book “Socotra” is a visual journey to the idea of islands –strange and magical– and the colonialist tradition of travel. It earned him an invitation to become an “Associate” with the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and a nomination for the World Press Photo’s master class.
Claudius has regularly been lecturer in photography at University of Applied Arts Hanover, Germany, University of The Arts London, and National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India, among others, and in cultural studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg. Claudius Schulze studied Political Science and Islamic Studies at Hamburg University, he received a Master’s degree in “Conflict Analysis and Resolution” from Sabanci University Istanbul and a M.A. in “Documentary Photography and Photojournalism” (with distinction) from LCC, University of the Arts London. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD on artificial intelligence and artistic research. Claudius is member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. He is living in Hamburg.
Exhibition opening: 19:00, 21.06.2018
Place: Art_Inkubator / Building C1 / Galeria Fabryki Sztuki / Tymienieckiego 3 Street