‘Littoral’ examines the shifting overlap between landscape and urban-scape. As a reaction to a traditional approach where the two are consciously separated, Laemmle-Ruff focuses on the often grotesque and ever-expanding littoral zone between civilisation and nature.
“I found these undefined zones did not discriminate on place or culture. From Morocco to the post WWII suburbs of Germany, sombre skies were met with stubborn and aggressive urbanisation.
I was drawn to contradictions. “The World Tastes Better with Pall Mall” claimed the cigarette ad.
These empty remarks of consumerism seemed to go unchallenged. My intention was to capture these paradoxes and pull them from the wallpaper of modern sensibility.
Our gaze once traveled to picturesque, unspoiled horizons, forests in mist and rolling plains. Instead it stops on concrete or becomes tangled in steel beams.”
‘Littoral’ presents us with spaces anticipating themselves. Housing estates on the fringe of development yet to be occupied; North African peasants walking past the mall’s facade where the market once stood; roof top terraces lined with satellite dishes streaming immaculate reception. We are left to wonder who will fill these homes? Who is in control of where urbanisation will go next?
Ultimately, this series may appear to be a presentation of a vernacular world, familiar and normal. This, in turn alludes to a desensitisation to our changing surroundings in an age of globalisation and overpopulation. Our landscape is increasingly becoming a manifestation of ourselves. ‘Littoral’ urges one to question where the present seems to be leading us.
© Copyright Kristian Laemmle-Ruff 2016