Modernity and the Landscape in Latin America

Politics, Aesthetics, Ecology

Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque, Chile
Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque, Chile

Project director: Prof. Dr. Jens Andermann, Institute of Romance Studies

Researchers: Dr. Lisa Blackmore, Dayron Carrillo Morell, MA

Funding: Swiss National Research Fund (SNRF)

Project website:

Short description:

The project analyzes different figurations of the modern landscape through architecture, the visual arts, literature and cinema in Latin America. It looks not just at the innovative designs of aesthetic modernism that blossomed in the region over the last century, but also at the processes of political upheaval, social displacement, and ecological crisis that transpire in physical sites as well as imaginative landscape formations. Through a variety of individual research projects as well as in seminars and workshops held in Zurich as well as in the region itself, the project team and its Latin American research partners are seeking to break new ground in various ways: first, in moving beyond nation-centered critical paradigms and towards a mode of reading local against transnational formations; second, in advancing a transversal concept of landscape, which allows understanding landscape not so much as genre or content but rather as a shared problematic across the arts, literature, architecture and cinema; and third, in seeking out relations between processes of crisis and reconfiguration on the level of aesthetic form, on the one hand, and on that of social experiences of space and place, on the other. From the perspective of aesthetics, critical theory and cultural history, the project joins current debates on political ecology and postnatural aesthetics in rehabilitating landscape as a mode of knowledge and experience that explores the mutually transformative assemblages between human and non-human agents.