Zwart zand

In her project The nature of Things, Anke van Iersel researches the parameters of what nature is and what is made to create nature. How does man relate to nature and how can man claim his place within nature: is it a matter of making himself subordinate to nature, or does it mean that man always comes first?
An element of is subtly indicated by Anke van Iersel, through a play of these relationships and our perception of them. The photo here below, (“Untitled”) demands of us a particular effort to ‘sharpen’ its image. Is this an enormous rock in an immeasurable landscape, or do we see a pebble on a small patch of beach? With these questions Anke van Iersel compels us to rediscover our perception of nature. Instantaneously in ‘Zwart Zand’ (‘Black Sand’), the Photo of the Month, she poses questions about mans perception of nature and its apparent paradox: In an effort to preserve nature, man often steps in. These questions are part of her research and the book that has become the result of this, (please read below for ordering information).
Titled ‘Zwart Zand’ this work also plays with proportions and surroundings. A heap of black sand placed in a meadow. Manmade and menacingly present in form and colour. And yet in a manner, it seems to fit into place. The photo is telling of how nature always remains to be nature. Even the interventions man tends to perform are perceived eventually as a natural cause of events. Until there’s a person in the image, who doesn’t only disturb the nature, but also rarely assimilates with his surroundings, even in his best attempts to connect with nature. We witness this in an image that was previously Photo of the Month, (link): A person in all her nudity, whom in this natural state does not blend with the nature.

Anthon Fasel


Anke van Iersel