Landscape as Weapon

Cultures of Exhaustion and Refusal

John Beck

Landscape as Weapon

John Beck

Distributed for Reaktion Books

208 pages | 20 halftones | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9781789143058 Will Publish January 2021 For sale in North and South America only
Once the playgrounds and raw material for the avantgarde, abandoned places and things—decommissioned military sites, postindustrial spaces, contested and forgotten edgelands—are now just as likely to be seen as assets for entrepreneurs or connoisseurs of the authentically worn-out. This is the age of patina, where the material remains of times past—the fields and factories, test sites, back alleys, machines, and statues—are coveted, adored, mourned, and commemorated, as well as sometimes despised. Through an exploration of a wide range of recent film, photography, art, and writing about place, Landscape as Weapon argues that these abandoned sites are a critical arena for debate about the meaning of space and time under late capitalism.
Review Quotes
Stephen Graham, author of "Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers"
"How landscapes and their histories are depicted matters profoundly and it matters politically. . . . In this wonderfully wide-ranging critique, Beck challenges the easy packaging of landscape and its history as tourist 'heritage' sites, film locations, edgy ruins, or icons of national identity. Exploring pastoral landscapes, industrial sprawl, abandoned ruins, bunkers, and much more, Landscape as Weapon is an essential reminder that how we think of places and their pasts is pivotal to how we live now. Essential reading."
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