Theresa Ganz American, b. 1980

Artist Statement
 
I make landscapes and interiors in the form of collage, video and installation. While my primary medium is photography, a singular, still image is almost never the final product. Cutting and pasting, whether as collage, digital stitching or video editing is central to my process. I use the referential and literal quality of the photograph to create an altered reality. 

My work blends a 19th century Romantic vision of the individual in nature with a 21st century lived experience mediated by screens. In traditional Western art, landscape tends to suggest vastness and the conquering of “man” over nature, or conversely nature’s awesome greatness and the smallness of “man.” This sensibility, the sublime, was expressed in painting through an expansive outward vision, coded as masculine, in contrast to natural forms found decoration, rendered as surfaces and coded as feminine. One was divine, while the other worldly and base. Collaging photographic features of landscape, I seek to undermine these dispositions, offering a more myopic and ambiguous vision. I never afford the viewer enough distance to gaze out, but confront them with a maze-like and internal world of warped detail and impenetrable surfaces. I make work that refers to the decorative but reaches for the sublime through sheer scale and queasy disorientation. From these cut out parts, I construct architectural spaces and decorative motifs. Romanticism and later Transcendentalism promised spiritual experience through communion with nature. In a time of catastrophic environmental degradation, this seems unattainable, yet the impulse remains. In a digital, dematerialized world, do objects still have aura? Is it still meaningful to stand in a room with a work of art? These questions motivate and haunt my work.