CHRISTOPHER THOMSON WORKING WITH LANDSCAPE

ABOUT

Christopher Thomson is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. Born in London, he has lived and worked in England, Germany, France, Austria, Turkey, and now Italy. His work concerns the metamorphosis of landscape and the significance of place, and is often drawn to the chaotic interaction between the cultural concept of landscape and the unpredictable natural world on which it rests.


Why landscape? "Our landscape is our culture, it shapes us, it dictates what is possible, however much modern economics has pretended otherwise. I want to make work that addresses some of the disconnections we have to our land. This means creating questions rather than answers, and interrupting the classic narratives surrounding ideas of landscape and place.

IT: Christopher Thomson è scrittore, regista e fotografo. Nato a Londra, ha vissuto e lavorato in Inghilterra, Germania, Francia, Austria, Turchia e ora in Italia. Il suo lavoro riguarda la metamorfosi del paesaggio ed il significato di ‘luogo’. È spesso caratterizzato dall' interazione caotica tra il concetto di paesaggio culturale e l’imprevedibile mondo naturale sul quale esso poggia.

DE: Christopher Thomson ist Autor, Filmschaffender und Fotograf. Er wurde in London geboren und hat seitdem in England, Deutschland, Frankreich, Österreich, der Türkei und Italien gelebt und gearbeitet. Seine Arbeiten sind Untersuchungen zur Metamorphose der Landschaft und der Bedeutung des ‘Ortes’. Dabei ist sein Fokus die wandelbare Wechselwirkung zwischen der kulturellen Vorstellung der Landschaft und der unberechenbaren Natur, auf der sie beruht.



THE NEW WILD: LIFE IN THE ABANDONED LANDS [COMING SOON]

As cities grow and rural populations decline, new and surprising landscapes are appearing across Europe, abandoned lands reclaimed by a self-willed natural world. What is our role in these fascinating environments? Participant or outcast? Inhabitant or tourist? Bystander of steward? This feature documentary travels to a small village in the middle of it all – surrounded and witness to the sprawling vigour of the new wild on its doorstep – exploring the intrigue and beauty of a great metamorphosis, and uncovering the timely questions this compelling story has to offer.


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TRAVELS THROUGH ABSENCE

"This book explores absence, manifest in multiple ways, especially concerning social memory in urban space and its effect on identity. It is a culmination of many years work and research, expressed as a mood, an atmosphere, a feeling. In the very middle of the book I say it simply: something is missing. It is a reflection on our relationship with history and the pervasive exclusivity of now. The other visual material is meant as illustration for the text."


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DORDOLLA: A VILLAGE CASE STUDY

Dordolla is a small alpine village on the Italian /  Austrian / Slovenian border that provides a dramatic example of landscape metamorphosis, detailing depopulation, reforestation, and both a collapse and rebirth of traditional agriculture. The resulting picture that emerges from these entwined narratives gives insights into our fragile hold on the natural world and simultaneously suggests a new appreciation of our role as active drivers of landscape.


Dordolla and its environment make an excellent case study for questioning theses boundaries between natural and cultural landscapes, between growth and decay and between change and continuity. Here the distinction is revealed to be one of perspective: they can often be one and the same.


The project has already produced maps, books, talks and a film is now in pre-production.


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OUTSCAPES

"Outscapes was initiated as a project to home an ongoing series of works that deal with a sense of landscape ostracism, of being outside or isolated from the world around. Most of these glimpses call for second glances, and play with the duality of being within and without landscape. These are themes I am often drawn to in my work, and the website provides a platform to play out some of these ideas in a more open and exploratory way."

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BREAD, WATER AND WASHING LINES

"This film brings varying European landscapes together under the slow arc of a sun shared, and by combining simple narrative threads within them.  It was made in response to riding from London to Istanbul by bicycle: a journey perhaps slow and cyclical enough to tease out familiarities not normally associated with travel. One of the major focuses became the domestic. An American told me at the time that her favourite thing about Europe so far had to be the washing lines."


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CONTACT

https://www.facebook.com/christopherthomson.net