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Land art and agriculture

Published in Scientific Papers. Series B. Horticulture, Vol. LVI
Written by Violeta RĂDUCAN

The first landscape paintings, called ‘paesaggio’ were used as backgrounds for portraits. They were sceneries of agricultural fields of the Italian countryside (paese & immagine). Paesaggio became ‘paysage’ in French, (pays & image), ‘peisaj’ in Romanian and ‘landscape’ in English. In our days, the agricultural fields are often part of preserved landscapes, according to their aesthetical character, not only to their natural importance. Rice terraces, vineries or orchards are extremely interesting for the cultural landscape. The natural and manmade landscapes, including agricultural fields, are the field of visual artists and landscape architects. Their installations underline some features of the landscape. Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Andy Goldsworthy, Walter de Maria, Nancy Holt, Maya Lin, Richard Long, Robert Smithson, and many others are famous for their land art works. The ‘Power Lines’, designed by the well known and awarded American landscape architect Martha Schwartz and German architect Markus Jatsch, located in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, is the most interesting intervention in an agricultural field. This installation will be presented as a case study. The main features of this installation are: a geometrical structure of linear corn-fields, the ‘Red Corridor’ pointing to the hill in that area and the Bismarck Tower placed on its top and the ‘Black Heart’, a circular room made of hay bales wrapped in black plastic. This artwork is a symbol of the difficulty in managing the power, politically and environmentally.[10].

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