Throughout its history, landscape photography has transitioned from scientific exploration to the idealization of nature and the spectacle of human progress. Lost along the way was a sense that photographs of the land can speak to an ecstatic experience. Borne of this lineage, Transfigurations is an atavistic contemplation of the origin, embracing photography’s duality, veracity and transformation.
These photographs are a lust for the primitive. They seek to understand beauty and terror, which are inseparable. In the desert, nothing remains static; even the rocks move. The landscape is discernible only because of the presence of what is fundamentally absent. Myth and metaphor remain unfixed, open.
About the Photographer
Born in Denver, Michael Lundgren spent his formative years in the hills of upstate New York, roaming the fields and woods behind his home. Lundgren received his BFA in photography from RIT in 1997 and his MFA in photography from ASU in 2003, and has taught photography since 2004. He is coauthor of After the Ruins: Rephotographing the San Francisco Earthquake with the photographer Mark Klett. Lundgren was recently nominated for the Silverstein Photography Annual, the Santa Fe Prize, and was a finalist in the Aperture West Book Prize. His work is included in the fine art collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark, as well numerous private collections.
About the Authors
Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist. Her many books include A Book of Migrations: Some Passages in Ireland (1997), Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism (2000), As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (2001), and most recently River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (2003).
William Jenkins majored in economics at St. Lawrence University where he enrolled in photography workshops by Minor White and Paul Caponigro. This sparked a serious study of photography which led to a master’s degree from the Visual Studies Workshop/State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been the curator of Twentieth Century Photography at the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House where he curated the influential New Topographics exhibition. Since 1979 he has taught at Arizona State University, Tempe.