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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

American Landscape
1999-2000
Using a custom self-built camera with a horizontal slit as an opening, instead of the customary round opening, Michael Wesely photographed the same famous landscape formations that renowned landscape photographers like Edward Weston and Anselm Adams made so famous. These are so well known that it hardly seemed possible to create something new with these spectacular subjects. This was even more an issue, because they have also been photographed to death in innumerous picture books and Hollywood films. In Wesely`s work however, these prominent scenes, photographed a million times already, are transformed through the special construction of the slit-camera into abstract strips, which no longer refer to their original motif. The horizontality of the images as well as their richness of color do hint at them being taken in a desert, canyon or coastal landscape, but the mystery of their beauty still remains hidden. It is a new slant on a renowned subject and at the same time, a photographic reclaiming of exhausted motifs.