In the art world, landscape photography is often presented in a, well, landscape format, with a horizon in the distance of the constrained, squared-off boundaries. In this project entitled Deltiologies, artist Liz Orton both celebrates and challenges that traditional definition of landscape with a new understanding of an otherwise typical expectation.
The artist says that for Deltiologies, she “takes as a starting point the idea that landscape is a representation, rather than a natural scene ‘out there' in the world. Landscape is informed by histories of looking, and by cultural and visual narratives of nature.” The project consists of round, collaged images, arranged together to represent the world, rather than to specifically depict it.
To create each piece, Orton scans early twentieth-century photochroms and categorizes them based on subject matter, things like lakes, mountains, waterfalls, and villages. She slices the images into fragments and then fits them together like a puzzle to develop these new lands that are a compilation of the past and the present. The final results are a disorienting scene that disturbs our expectations and encourages us to explore, for example, an average mountain, as if seeing a mountain for the very first time.