new-york

Oliver Wasow

Janet Borden, Inc.

On the photographic evidence alone, it would scarcely be illogical to infer that Oliver Wasow is the last man on earth. His expertly manipulated, uninhabited color photographs have been compared to Romantic landscape paintings for their sense of sublimity, desolation, and grandeur; but the suggestively postapocalyptic scenes they depict are less landscapes than sites—landscape neutralizes any link between history and a given location (one would never refer to Treblinka as a landscape), while site suggests a place where something definite has transpired (Hiroshima, site of the first atomic bomb exploded in warfare). And with nearly every one of Wasow’s photographs, you get the sense something happened there—that a bomb has gone off, the sky has gone out, or the earth has gone up in flames.

Wasow generally creates his photographs by subjecting fragments of other photos (both found and

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