State of Nature

To which extent natural disaster protection became part of the European landscape shows the body of work “State of Nature”. Claudius Schulze travelled about 50 000 km across Europe, photographing with a large format view camera down from an aerial work platform seemingly picturesque landscapes.

But each of those idyllic sceneries contains imperfections: alpine panoramas are crossed by snow sheds, the North Sea coast is furrowed by breakwaters. In each of the photographs protective structures rise into the landscape. In the age of the Anthropocene, climate change and extreme weather constantly increase the threads of gales, floods, and avalanches; it’s civil protection agencies maintaining ordinary life. These pictures are not about on defining the boundary between “artificial” and “natural”. On the contrary, the defences are the prerequisite to these landscapes: the sunshine sparkles on the surface of the mountain lakes only because it was artificially dammed, the dunes only rise because they are protected against storm surges. Civilization is well sheltered against the dangers of nature and those that come from unrestrained pollution and carbon emissions.

At the moment, we still profit from driving climate change through our consumption. At the moment the catastrophes we have equipped ourselves for and which are the consequences of our actions are largely felt elsewhere and not with us, not in the “First World.” At the moment we are still living carefree – in the belief of the picturesque beauty of nature surrounding us, while elsewhere, catastrophic nature strikes harder than it ever did.

 

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The Photobook

ISBN 978-3-96070-010-4

30 × 36 cm
172 pages on 2 different papers, 61 color and 13 b/w images

Texts by Oskar Piegsa and Prof. Thomas Glade
English/German

Graphic Design by -SYB-
Published by Hartmann Books, Stuttgart

Thread-sewn softcover with slipcase

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Claudius Schulze

Claudius Schulze is a photographer and researcher. Having travelled and worked in over fifty countries, his interest is in humanities’ deficits and the global changes of the Anthropocene. A self-professed dinner table radical, Claudius prefers subtlety and disguised symbolism in his photography.

His book Socotra is a visual journey to the idea of islands –strange and magical– and the colonialist tradition of travel. It earned him an invitation to become an Associate with the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and a nomination for the World Press Photo’s master class.

Using large format landscape photography, Claudius investigated the picturesque nature of natural catastrophes and the threat of climate change. The project “State of Nature” got nominated for the Prix Pictet and published by Hartmann Books. An international exhibition tour will follow.

Claudius’ work has appeared in numerous international publications including Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, National Geographic Traveller, Smithsonian Magazine, GQ, NEON, and The Independent. His photographs have been exhibited in London, New York, Istanbul, Berlin, and at Rencontres Arles, among others. In 2012, Claudius Schulze was selected as one of Germany’s top 30 journalists under 30.

Prior to photography, Claudius Schulze originally studied Political Science and Islamic Studies at Hamburg University and he received a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Sabanci University Istanbul. His photographic mastery was polished at LCC, University of the Arts London, where he graduated the M.A. program Documentary Photography and Photojournalism with distinction. He is pursuing a PhD on computational creativity.

Claudius has been guest lecturer in photography at University of Applied Arts Hannover, Germany, University of The Arts, London, and National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India, among others, and is currently lecturer in cultural studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

Claudius is member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. He is living in Hamburg where is building a house boat with own hands.

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