Gohar Dashti

Disappearing Nature

| 2022

“Cameras began duplicating the world at that moment when the human landscape started to undergo a vertiginous rate of change; while an untold number of forms of biological and social life are being destroyed in a brief span of time, a device is available to record what is disappearing….”

On Photography by Susan Sontag, 1977


Disappearing Nature is a series of manipulated polaroid photos which shows future landscapes. After taking hundreds of bucolic Polaroid photos during my residency at MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire, I burned and peeled these beautiful New England landscape photos and made a new and unexpected ‘future nature.’

They have become a sort of alternate landscape which explores the effects of climate change and visualizes the natural landscape of the future.

These photographs interrogate and illustrate the possibilities of ‘future nature’, as shaped by the ever-greater climate extremes which the planet is currently experiencing. I have created an entirely new aesthetic landscape, in order to trigger a visceral awareness of the repercussions of climate change within the viewer.

Fittingly, the less controllable development process led to unique faults in some photos which then took on their own personae, as a result of warping and discoloration. The delicate process of development mirrors the precarious situation of our Earth: resulting in imagery that is violent, urgent, and, amid its transitions, often unexpectedly beautiful.