Wasteland with Elephant Poster
From Nick Brandt’s series Inherit the Dust, “Wasteland with Elephant” reveals an undulating sea of litter. It almost looks beautiful — cascading and moody, romantically backlit by slivers of light peeking through the clouds. But this bag of tricks our eyes dole out to convince us of this romance is out of their sheer disbelief at what this image actually is: a decadent wasteland, a site of rot and refuse that people sift, walk, and live through, that animals—this almost myth of an elephant now—once enlivened.
While the English photographer began his career directing music videos, it wasn’t until he filmed Michael Jackson’s Earth Song in Tanzania that he was inspired to pay homage to the animals he saw there. In 2001, Brandt began his ambitious photographic project capturing the destruction of East Africa’s natural magnificence and the disappearance of its animals. His fascination with the changing natural world is evident in series like Inherit the Dust (2016), where Brandt places previously unreleased life-size animal portraits in sites of urban development, new factories, wastelands, and quarries. Deciding not to use either a telephoto or zoom lens in his practice, Brandt’s close proximity to his animal subjects imbues his portraits with a sense of intimacy as well as caution that is rare and unique to the artist’s photographs. That, now juxtaposed with the encroaching industrial scapes Brandt exposes, proves the expanse of the photographer’s practice, from his technical skill as a portraitist to his critical environmental commentary at large. But Brandt shows that animals are not the only victims of environmental devastation, the people now inhabiting these landscapes are as well. Spending two decades raising awareness on the threats humanity poses to natural and animal life, Brandt now resides in the mountains of Southern California.
Nick Brandt stands as one of Fotografiska’s most popular photographers with four different exhibitions across its museum locations throughout the years. The image rendered in this poster hails from Brandt’s series Inherit the Dusk, which was shown in full at Fotografiska Stockholm in 2016, as well as in the exhibition On This Earth, A Shadow Falls Across the Ravaged Land at the same location in 2015.
Size: 19.69”W x 27.56”H (50x70 cm)
Printed on FSC-certified paper