UNSAFE LANDSCAPES/PATAGONIA Lutz Matschke
There are two stages in the perception of a landscape’s beauty: the one based directly on the nature itself and the photographic one, as an image with a codex. In both instances of that beauty, there lays a danger.
The first one necessarily leads to a mistake, since in Nietzsche’s words: “Experimenting something as beautiful means experiment it only in an erroneous way, because it is a shortsightedness that only sees the closest consequences. Beauty gives the landscape an enchantment that is conditioned by the association of different judgments of beauty, but that is totally unconnected to its essence.”
I tend to get confused and even lost at this stage of beauty, turning me more insensible towards its new forms. John Berger adds on the matter “. when we say: „oh, how beautiful“, in that expression there is the hope or the desire of being watched by that object. That is why the compulsive beauty is so disagreeable. There is an element of the desire about which it isn’t usually spoken. There is a relationship between desire and the wound: a desire assumes to give and also to receive. It supposes a distance – temporarily, of course – of the natural pain to live and to be hurt. That is the secret plot of desire: to move us away from pain for a time. If so, then the perfect beauty is, at the same time, something that cannot be loved nor wished because of its intact perfection, without wounds, there doesn’t exist possibilities of giving nor receiving.“
At the photographic beauty, the one that runs the risk is the landscape itself, because of the romantic vision that influences contemporary environmentalist ideas. Romanticism was the last attempt in resembling beauty with kindness, installed by the Platonic values at the middle 18th century.
The contemporary human being tries to materially possess the kindness of nature, by self-declaring a landscape as beautiful. Once he posses it, he alters the landscape by transforming it according to his own canon of fake beauty. This is the way in how huge Patagonian natural areas, which remained untouched until now, become to surrender at the end of the Southamerican continent.