My Highlights from Art Brussels 2014
The photographic series “Dutch Landscapes” isn’t quite what one expects, given the title. Rather than depict the signature light that characterized the Dutch Golden Age, Belgian artist Mishka Henner sees landscape through a 21st-century lens: Google Earth. Under the influence of Marcel Duchamp and conceptual art, he appropriates Google Earth images to reveal the particularly creative way in which the Dutch government camouflages sites deemed vital to national security from satellite surveillance. Lush landscapes are obscured by colorful hard-edged polygons resembling both stained glass and exaggerated pixels of the underlying photograph. A crisp aerial photo of The Hague, for example, reveals a cityscape inexplicably masked by a striking section of hard-edged, large-scale pixelation. The works question whether this quirky negotiation is a necessary move in the name of national defence, or a form of censorship in the online information age.
Belgian, b. 1976, Brussels, Belgium, based in Manchester, United Kingdom