De Bello Naturae is a project resulting from a dialogue extending over many years among Peter Campus, Kathleen J. Graves and Antonio Trimani, concerning their different approaches to techniques for representing reality: the video landscapes of Peter Campus – one of the very first pioneers of video art – the photographs of American artist Kathleen J. Graves, and Antonio Trimani’s electronic landscapes. The contrasting work of these artists expresses three different ways of viewing the conflict between civilisation and nature. Today the project, started in 2014 with a show at at the Museo Civico located in the historic setting of Barletta castle (curated by Bruno Di Marino, Daniela Di Niso and Tonio Musci) reaches now Korea, where it is enriched by the contribution of a major Korean artist, photographer Ito Lim.
Peter Campus’ abstract and brightly coloured landscapes, part of a series he began in 2008, provide a bridge between reality and imagination, via the channels of perception. The artificial creatures, christened NanoBots, which take flight in Kathleen J Graves’ photographic series Dark Garden, create a utopian environment where nature and technology (these days not so easily distinguished) coexist harmoniously. The Bots assume imaginary forms, and their function is to observe and monitor their surroundings.
Antonio Trimani’s electronic landscapes plunge the viewer into a surreal atmosphere; time is diluted to pixel-size, and our perceptual mechanism causes the reality/fiction relationship to reverse direction as our perceptions are led to see the real landscape through the filter of the imagination.
Ito Lim enters at this stage of the dialogue to add new perspectives, spanned by his black and white images where man is absent – or rather, his presence is felt but it is behind the lens of the camera. This brings into play another facet in the exploration of the relationship between man and nature through the digital lens: the ability to subtract man from the landscape in order to invert the focus and examine the depths of one’s inner self. “An image that is a fragment of soul”, as Fabrizio Pizzuto comments in his review, “a sensibility born of dark tones, no less sad and elegant than life might be”.
De Bello Naturae. Peter Campus, Kathleen J. Graves and Antonio Trimani. Ito Lim. Suwon Art Center, Korea. The Bello Nature is also currently on view at the Yesultong Festival di Seoul until December 15.2016.
images (cover 1-2) De Bello Naturae. Peter Campus, Kathleen J. Graves and Antonio Trimani. Ito Lim. Suwon Art Center, Korea, exhibition view (3) De Bello Naturae. Peter Campus, Kathleen J. Graves and Antonio Trimani. Ito Lim. Suwon Art Center, Korea, exhibition view with direttore Young Gil Lee (Director) and Suejung Park (curator of the Museum)