The 19th and possibly final edition of the Noorderlicht International Photofestival transcends photographic genres to sketch a picture of the relation between man and nature. The result is nothing less than a declaration of love: a challenging, visually breathtaking exhibition that stimulates the mind and moves the heart at the same time. Terra Cognita is a photographic journey in six chapters, with work which spans a range including landscape photography, documentary photography, art photography and computer generated images. The exhibition includes the work of around 100 photographers from The Netherlands and other countries from rising young photographers to established names. For the first time Noorderlicht is moving to an exhibition site outside the city for the festival: the main location is the Museum Belvédère.
It has been said that real nature no longer exists, certainly not in the developed, Western world. But although modern man has cultivated and paved over nature to his own taste, he continues to yearn for the peace, open space and freedom that nature promises. Terra Cognita is about the experience of nature, in all its manifestations, from tactile, living and breathing nature, to the nature of our thoughts, its dreamed and fantastic incarnations.
In all this work the landscape reveals the emotions and thoughts that the photographer has projected on it. The diverse and complex ways in which we see and experience landscapes, the nature in our genes and our minds echo through the breadth of Terra Cognita. From timeless black and white to conceptual or computer generated, the blending of genres is total. Like nature itself, this is an exhibition not just to be seen, but to be experienced.
Terra Cognita, Noorderlicht International Photofestival, 2nd September until 7th October, Museum Belvédère, Oranje Nassaulaan 12, Heerenveen, Netherlands. www.noorderlicht.com
Posted on 17 August 2012