Author(s): Christian Widmer
Michael Lundgren draws on a deep current in photographic tradition that takes the natural world as a point of transcendence. Lundgren works collaboratively with artists, scientists and writers on historically and socially engaged bodies of work, but his true passion is the poetic potential of the medium. His first monograph, "Transfigurations" (Radius Books, 2008), sought to redefine the value of the primitive landscape. Lundgren's new series, "Matter," is a collection of images taken over a period of seven years, evoking an element of the supernatural in the deserts of North America. Carrying a mythological visual trope throughout, the works are photographs of the earth, but not the earth we know. The artist implies that one way to see the intellectual, emotional and spiritual importance of a place is to see it as not our own. These photographs move beyond the transcendent experience of wilderness into evidence of an occupied planet now forgotten.