The Fleurieuscapes project is the photography of place. It explores the regional land/urbanscape of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the contemporary world of a borderless, global capitalism with its society of the spectacle in which the commodity structure of a capitalism transforms things into ghostlike appearances of themselves.
The Fleurieuscapes project is a representation of the sensuous particulars of the Fleurieu Peninsula as a place to be in, rather than as a tourist destination or a wilderness. It is a landscape that has been largely shaped by human beings who cleared the land for sheep and dairy farming. The aboriginal presence prior to the white settlement has been more or less obliterated. Their history is marked by an absence or memories.
The sensuousness and material particularity of art strives to assert what the rationalized concepts of instrumental reason have let slip away from the world. Thus, while the process of rationalization may well be pervasive in Western modernity, and increasingly so globally, it remains nonetheless plausible that artworks can demonstrate its limitations within a particular historical framework. Herein lies the critical force that artworks carry in the context of their historical existence. While art makes claims as a form of knowing, it presents us with insights that are not reducible to their conceptual equivalents.
What is at issue is art’s desire to serve as a form of sensuous cognition that has its own way of knowing the world and also a way of valuing it; albeit one that has, in turn, become constrained in its ability to reveal things that a concept-bound theory seems to lack. Art as an intelligent sensing of the world, offers an engagement with the world sensuous particulars that gives evidence of the kind of knowledge that has been occluded by the dominance of “abstract concepts” in the rationalized cultures of modernity.
Art photography, as an alternative mode of rationality, has historically helped to return us to those very things that have been alienated from the abstract concept: body, gesture, style, manner, tone, mood, and the other unsystematic, inarticulate, embodied, subjective experiences. It has offered a way of knowing that does not subsume the object of knowledge (the sensuous particular) under the abstract concept. It is cognition that involves feeling, not just raw feeling in itself but as an aesthetic comportment based on the knowing body.