Olaf Otto Becker

Reading the Landscape

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Olaf Otto Becker
Reading the Landscape

Texts by William Ewing, graphic design by Olaf Otto Becker

German, English

2014. 160 pp., 85 ills.

27.40 x 34.70 cm
hardcover

ISBN 978-3-7757-3854-5

The expulsion from paradise

Photographs juxtaposing intact rainforest and swaths of ruthlessly cleared land

In the first, breathtakingly beautiful photographs of his Habitat series, Olaf Otto Becker (* 1959) presents us with idyllic dreamlike places, paradisiacal tableaus from the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia. Roman­tic floodplains, tree trunks slung with liana vines, eco­logical niches for countless life forms—these are the kinds of untouched tropical rainforests that we pic­ture in our dreams. Even the temperate rainforest of Redwood National Parks in California seems reassur­ingly intact. The mammoth trees are surviving thanks to rigorous conservation measures. In contrast, in the second half of his series Becker painfully shows us what happens throughout the globe when interna­tionally operating companies clear large tracts of land and giant areas of barren, treeless terrain result. Erosion also does its work, and no life can survive in these places. In the final section Becker presents the artificial “forests” conceived by various international architects to insert greenery into urban space. Is this our vision of the future?

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Edition Gerd Hatje

Edition Gerd Hatje: Olaf Otto Becker

Olaf Otto Becker

Primary Forest 02, Lake, Malaysia 10/2012, Altitude 240 m
To the Editions Gerd Hatje »

fotoblog

Olaf Otto Becker posting about the origin of his book "Reading the Landscape" »

"My pictures and videos are an attempt to report on what I’ve experienced, on what I’ve seen with my own eyes and what has, for that reason, deeply moved me... While researching the subject, it first seemed to me almost paradoxical that the so-called western world was behind both the destruction of the primary habitats and the attempts to protect them. I saw how both sides in the conflict were using impoverished and poorly-educated local populations for their own interests..."

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