It's impossible not to think, even upon close inspection, that Olivo Barbieri's photographs aren't images of obsessively detailed architectural maquettes. The trees seem plastic, the cars resemble toys and the buildings look as though they would fall over if you so much as breathed on them. The Waterfall Project brings this unreal quality to landscape, specifically to such touristy waterfalls as Victoria (Zambia/ Zimbabwe), Iguazu (Argentina, Brazil), Khone Papeng (Laos/Cambodia) and Niagara (USA/Canada). In these disorienting images, the spectators on the crowded viewing platforms look like M & M's in a candy bowl, a cluster of toytown Pointillistic color against a backdrop of watery froth. The results are vertiginous and wonderfully bizarre. Critic Walter Guadagnini writes in the introduction: There is an evident technical expedient in this, and it is the choice to photograph from above, to place oneself in a privileged and anomalous condition. In the past, this expedient already gave rise to numerous readings, which range from acknowledging the historical roots of this perspective (going back all the way to Nadar's photographs from a hot-air balloon) up to the socio-political implications deriving from 9/11."
Buy The Waterfall Project book by Olivo Barbieri from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(335mm x 229mm x 18mm)
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