This three-day workshop gathers international scholars and artists to reflect upon photographic practices that focus on the representations of natural and built environments in contemporary Europe. From different disciplinary perspectives that include art history, architecture, geography and archaeology, speakers address the many pressing issues that representations of natural and man-made landscapes bring into focus: national identity of the territory, political and historical context of urban expansion and the effect of human activity on land. The workshop furthermore gives an opportunity to identify elements of change and continuity in contemporary development of landscape as a genre, and how photography and lens-based media affect its visual models of representation.


Friday, June 16

13.30 Registration

14.00 Welcome: Michaela Marek (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

14.15 Introduction: Stefanie Gerke and Olga Smith (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Panel I: Picturesque Ideal and Images of Conflict

Chair: Charlotte Klonk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

14.45 Malcolm Andrews (University of Kent), Capturing the Wild – The Picturesque and Photography

15.15 Bettina Gockel (Universität Zürich), Picturesque Migration? On the Photographic Representation of Flight and Refugees

15.45 Coffee Break 

16.15 Liz Wells (University of Plymouth), Hidden Histories and Landscape Enigmas

16.45 Discussion

17.30 Coffee Break 

18.00 Artist Talk 

Beate Gütschow (Berlin) in conversation with Stefanie Gerke (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Saturday, June 17

Panel II: Landscape as Territory

Chair: Hannah Baader (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz)

10.00 Danièle Méaux (Université de Saint-Étienne), Archaeology of Territory

10.30 Sonia Keravel (Ecole nationale supérieure de paysage de Versailles) and Frédéric Pousin (CNRS-Paris), Photographers: Actors of Landscape Shaping. Emmanuelle Blanc’s Partnership with Two French Landscape Agencies

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Marta Dahó (Universitat de Barcelona)

Landscape and the Geographical Turn. Globalisation and the Crisis Questioning of Representation in Photographic Practices

12.00 Discussion

12.45 Lunch

Panel III: Urban Topographies

Chair: Angela Matyssek (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

 14.00 Jordi Ballesta (Université de Saint-Étienne), Surveying the Italian Urban Sprawl – The case of Italy, Cross Sections of a Country

 14.30 Raphaële Bertho (Université François-Rabelais), Les Grands Ensembles, Memory of a Future: A Photographic History

15.00 Discussion

15.30 Coffee Break

18.00 Artist Talk

Thomas Struth (Berlin) in conversation with Michael Diers (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Introduction: Steffen Haug (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Sunday, June 18

Panel IV: Landscape and National Identity

Chair: Liz Wells (Plymouth University)

10.30 Antonello Frongia (Università RomaTre), Observation, Indictment and Participation: The Politics of Italian Landscape Photography in the 1970s and ’80s

11.00 Donna West Brett (University of Sydney), After 1989 – Photography and the German Landscape

11.30 Discussion

12.15 Lunch 

Panel V: Beyond Human Perspective?

Chair: Stefanie Gerke (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

13.30 Laura Breede (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig), Impossible Realities? Landscape and Architectural Photography Between Documentation and Fiction

14.00 Olga Smith (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), De-centring the Human Perspective in Landscape Photography

14.30 Discussion

15.00 End of Workshop


  • Malcolm Andrews (University of Kent)
  • Jordi Ballesta (Université de Saint-Étienne)
  • Raphaële Bertho (Université François-Rabelais)
  • Laura Breede (HBK Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig)
  • Donna West Brett (University of Sydney)
  • Marta Dahó (Universitat de Barcelona )
  • Michael Diers (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Antonello Frongia (Università Roma    Tre)
  • Bettina Gockel (Universität Zürich)
  • Beate Gütschow (artist, Berlin)
  • Charlotte Klonk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Danièle Méaux (Université de Saint-Étienne)
  • Sonia Keravel and Frédéric Pousin (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage
  • Versailles)
  • Olga Smith (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Thomas Struth (artist, Berlin)
  • Liz Wells (Plymouth University)

The symposium is organized by Dr. Olga Smith and Stefanie Gerke, at the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It is presented with the kind support of KOSMOS Programme at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Verein zur Förderung des Instituts für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte.