Impossible Territory

The starting point of the project "Impossible territory" is the contemporary understanding of the natural landscape. Virtual reality shifts and influences our perception of what nature is. Artist Ewa Doroszenko is interested in the phenomenon of landscape documentation and representation; how the natural landscape’s position has changed according to how the places are perceived online. The project is a subjective study of how culture can change our longing for an idyllic natural landscape. Fascinated by technology and its incredible potential to change our ways of life, Doroszenko uses images from computer games and tourist guides, and explores the possibilities of digital distortions and imperfections.

The idea the project is based on refers to the thesis put forward by the philosopher Alfred Korzybski: “The map is not the territory” and the concept of “simulacrum” - the representation or imitation of a person or thing - proposed by Jean Baudrillard. Based on observations of the natural landscape, which is more often captured than directly experienced these days, Ewa Doroszenko tries to question the trust in digitally constructed images. The project blurs the boundary between different media; using images from travel magazines, personal archives, Google Street View, popular computer games and other online sources, Doroszenko presents a visual study of how natural landscape images are being transformed by new technologies. The project is based on photographic landscapes of Lithuania (prepared as part of an artistic residency in Klaipeda Culture Communication Center) and the natural landscapes of Poland.

The whole project relates to the reflection on the function of contemporary photography, which occupies a special place in building illusory visions of landscape; as Susan Sontag wrote: „The powers of photography have in effect de-Platonized our understanding of reality, making it less and less plausible to reflect upon our experience according to the distinction between images and things, between copies and originals.”

The project was realized under the Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.