Mishka Henner’s work often involves the collection of publicly available imagery, which he sources through television and the internet. His appropriative practice explores the use and value of photography and its relationship with contemporary experience. In the context of his work, the artist remarks that ‘there’s an absurdity to living in an age when everything is photographed.’
To produce his series Dutch Landscapes (2011) he utilises platforms Google Earth and Street View. When Google introduced its free satellite imagery services in 2005, governments concerned about the sudden visibility of locations persuaded the suppliers of this imagery to censor certain sites, in the interest of national security. The Dutch in particular hid hundreds of significant sites including royal palaces, fuel depots and army barracks throughout their country. They imposed bold, multi-coloured polygons over these, rather than the subtler techniques employed in other countries. The results are peculiar landscapes, with sharp aesthetic contrasts between the hidden sites and the rural and urban environments surrounding them. The images appear somewhat ridiculous: their overt and graphic nature only draws attention to what they are intended to hide. Yet this contradiction seems appropriate for the fear of terror that has come to dominate the political landscape over the past two decades.
- Artwork Details: 80 x 90cm
- Edition: 2 of 5
- Material description: Archival pigment print
- Credit line: © the artist
- Medium: Print
- Accession number: ACC16/2017