“I sought the future and past catastrophe of the social in geology, in that upturning of
depth that can be seen in the striated spaces, the reliefs of salt and stone, the canyons
where the fossil river flows down, the immemorial abyss of slowness that shows
itself in the erosion and geology. I even looked for it in the verticality of the
metropolises.” - Jean Baudrillard
Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present The Dolomites Project, an exhibition by Italian photographer Olivo Barbieri, which tells the story of mountains as designed architecture, where the risk and limit of sustainability is the same as what prompted Baudrillardʼs prescient observation as far back as 1986. According to Barbieri, “seascapes, great waterfalls, mountains, and old city centers have become fragile theme parks. Entertainment has virtually replaced the sublime. The veduta genre of megalopolises may, by dimension and consideration, compete with nature for importance in the collective imagination. The Dolomites are symbolic forms in movement whose history began two hundred and fifty million years ago. Their component material came from oceanic abysses and recalls the latterʼs design, almost an upsidedown history of the earth.”
The Dolomites Project is Barbieriʼs latest series to examine monumental landscapes from above.
As in the Waterfalls Project (2008), and the expansive, on-going site specific_ series (2003-
2012), the artist is photographing while hovering overhead in a helicopter. In each of these
previous projects Barbieri utilized a tilt-shift lens to deftly render spaces of enormous scale to
appear as toy-model versions of themselves. The Dolomites Project, however, utilizes another
facet of the artistʼs skillful exploitation of photographic folds of perception, bestowing on the
images a push/pull play of depth versus flatness through selective coloration of the textured
facades of the jagged peaks.
Born in 1954, Olivo Barbieri lives and works in Modena, Italy. In addition to his photographic
work, he has also directed critically acclaimed films, such as site specific_ROMA 04, site
specific_SHANGHAI 04, and site specific_LAS VEGAS 05, which he has exhibited at the MOMA,
New York, the Tate Modern, London, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Museum of
Contemporary Art, Chicago, among other venues. His films have been featured in the 2005
Toronto Film Festival and the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. He has also exhibited his
photographs internationally at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern
Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, and
the International Center of Photography, New York. He has participated in the Venice Biennial
(1993, 1995, 1997, 2011), the Prague Biennial (2009) and the Seville Biennial (2006).