Thinking the Landscape

“Landscape is more than painterly or visual effects,” Stanisław Vincenz wrote in 1943. “It is also the soil on which we walk and which we work, its undulation or flatness, its waters – seas, rivers or marshes – and even the air that we breathe.”
Without man, without his presence, the world will not become a landscape, just as space itself is not place, but only becomes it through thought and spirit – i.e., understanding. It is understanding that transforms a space into a place, understanding that permits living, as Heidegger wrote. Landscape is a record of that transformation, of the process of bcoming at home in the world; a record that we have learned to “read”.
Alongside the conceptions of Vincenz and Heidegger, there are others equally worth recalling: Franz Hessel’s passion for loafing, Walter Benjamin’s arcades, Christian Norberg‑Schulz’s genius loci, David Lynch’s urban landscape and Gordon Cullen’s townscape movement. For it was these that paved the way for a new mode of thinking, which in the 1970s and 1980s precipitated the “cultural turn” in the humanities. And landscape was undoubtedly one of the phenomena which defined that turn and facilitated the meeting of a range of research perspectives.
Today, the list of fields that have turned their attention to landscape is a very long one: from geography, art history and photography, and aesthetics, through ecology, landscape architecture and cultural studies, to research into memory, cultural heritage, and even law and economics – which is proof of the success of the recently passed “Landscape Act”.
The landscape is the environment of the life and activity of humankind. It is also image, memory, and a way of seeing the world. It is material for art and the substance of memory. In this issue of Herito we want to show the variety of its manifestations and the diversity of considerations in researching it. For it is through thinking that we create landscape.

    • 1
      Editorial
      Jacek Purchla

      “Landscape is more than painterly or visual effects,” Stanisław Vincenz wrote in 1943. “It is also the soil on which we walk and which we work, its undulation or flatness, its waters – seas, rivers or marshes – and even the air that we breathe.”
      Without man, without his presence, the world will not become a landscape, just as space itself is not place, but only becomes it through thought and spirit – i.e., understanding. It is understanding that transforms a space into a place, understanding that permits living, as Heidegger wrote. Landscape is a record of that transformation, of the process of bcoming at home in the world; a record that we have learned to “read”.
      Alongside the conceptions of Vincenz and Heidegger, there are others equally worth recalling: Franz Hessel’s passion for loafing, Walter Benjamin’s arcades, Christian Norberg‑Schulz’s genius loci, David Lynch’s urban landscape and Gordon Cullen’s townscape movement. For it was these that paved the way for a new mode of thinking, which in the 1970s and 1980s precipitated the “cultural turn” in the humanities. And landscape was undoubtedly one of the phenomena which defined that turn and facilitated the meeting of a range of research perspectives.
      Today, the list of fields that have turned their attention to landscape is a very long one: from geography, art history and photography, and aesthetics, through ecology, landscape architecture and cultural studies, to research into memory, cultural heritage, and even law and economics – which is proof of the success of the recently passed “Landscape Act”.
      The landscape is the environment of the life and activity of humankind. It is also image, memory, and a way of seeing the world. It is material for art and the substance of memory. In this issue of Herito we want to show the variety of its manifestations and the diversity of considerations in researching it. For it is through thinking that we create landscape.

    • 4
      Worth a Look

  • Thinking the Landscape
    • 12
      Elżbieta Rybicka

      Landscape research is currently developing along several distinct paths: aesthetic, perceptual, ideological, memory and performative. Although in each case landscape is interpreted from a different perspective, and its different aspects are brought to the fore, the multidirectional nature of these studies does not signal sharp divisions; on the contrary, it would be fair to say there is mutual support and a flow of ideas.

    • 22
      A Temporary Cessation of Habit. On Experiencing the Landscape
      Tadeusz Sławek

    • 32
      On the Land
      Magdalena Zych

      The sense of belonging to the land is sensual, organic and corporeal, but at the same time abstract and imagined, and strings usually tauten when a stance over land has to be taken. This is a moment that releases emotions, calls forth images from the past, and intimates what is as if a lexicon from an earlier age; sometimes it mandates a fight, the use of underhanded tricks, or slalom‑like manoeuvres between mortgages and testaments. The spectrum of attitudes towards land is expressed in ways of life and ways of working with the land, of being in the landscape, in memory of one’s birthplace and in notions of one’s ancestors.

    • 40
      Return to the River
      Uwe Rada

      First we enclosed them between embankments, later we drained them and even later put them to the service of the nation, and now we have rediscovered them: the landscape by the river has been the mirror image of the relations between humans and nature, between modernity and uncertainty.

    • 52
      Thinking Mountain. Thinking River
      Juraj Čorba

      There are various historical, political and other related contexts that are “out there” in this region to be discovered through direct contact with close or more distant lands. And yes, these contexts are extremely interesting, even extremely telling in a way. Visual expressions and experiences do really reflect and reveal the intriguing histories and unknown future. But, on the other hand, one can easily get lost in all these contexts.

    • 62
      The Literary Veduta. Variations
      Maciej Czerwiński

      The veduta is not a literary genre, neither is it a convention in writing, because it is not linked to any one specific stylistic formation. The element common to all vedutas is their subject: the city.

    • 76
      Landscape Architecture. The Idea and the Method
      Janusz Sepioł

      The limits of the notion of “landscape architecture” became exceedingly flexible and inclusive. Quite unsurprisingly: after all, any architecture intervenes with space, changing landscape. That is why landscape architecture is today construed as a multidisciplinary pursuit that can be conducted at any scale, whether regional or local, and valid both for cities, and suburbs and rural areas.

  • Interviev
    • 86
      The Lay of the Land
      Monika Rydiger

      Łukasz Galusek talks to Dr Monika Rydiger

  • Ideas in practice
    • 108
      Periphery Self‑assured
      Magdalena Petryna

      The newest and experimental contemporary art was introduced only gradually. After a kind of “taming” and showing of the human face of the most modern art, it became a medium through which the BWA began building a dialogue with the people of Tarnów and its vicinity, engaging in subjects that are important for the identity of the city and people.

  • Reflections, impressions, opinions
    • 118
      Everything the Old Way
      Wojciech Wilczyk

      Anna Beata Bohdziewicz
      "1981. A Light Breeze of Freedom"
      Monoplan 2013
      Anna Beata Bohdziewicz
      "1989. Life Anew. Photodiary or a Song on the End of the World"
      Dom Spotkań z Historią, Monoplan 2014

    • 124
      Polish Identity vs. Modernisation
      Michał Wiśniewski

      Andrzej Szczerski
      "Cztery nowoczesności. Teksty o sztuce i architekturze polskiej XX wieku"
      (Four Modernities. Essays on Polish Art and Architecture of the 20th Century)
      Dodo Editors, Kraków 2015

    • 129
      Worth a Thought

      Jindřich Vybíral
      "Leopold Bauer. Heretik moderní architektury"
      (Leopold Bauer. The Heretic of Modern Architecture)
      Academia–VŠUP, Praha 2015
      by Łukasz Galusek,

      "Lviv – City of Paradoxes"
      Essays: Michiel Driebergen, Kees van Ruyven, Ruud Meij; photography: Dolph Kessler; maps:
      Herman Zonderland
      2014, Amsterdam–Lviv
      by Katarzyna Kotyńska

      Yohanan Petrovsky‑Stern
      "Sztetl. Rozkwit i upadek żydowskich miasteczek na Kresach Wschodnich"
      (The Golden Age Shtetl. A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe)
      Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego,
      Krakow 2014
      by Kinga Migalska

      "Mestské zásahy: Deväťdesiatpäť nápadov, ako zlepšiť Bratislavu"
      (Urban Intervention: Ninety Five Ways to Better Bratislava)
      Bratislava
      www.mestskezasahy.sk
      by Peter Míchalik

  • Własną ręką
    • 134
      Patopolis
      Mileta Prodanović

      Transformations of urban landscape of Belgrade in the last decade of the 20th century indicate a general decline in morality during the time of Milošević. Elaborate palaces, shabby shacks and fancy lofts, mercilessly trampling on the noble architecture of the past, is a visible work of politics, which ravaged the morality, mentality, consciousness and knowledge of individuals, generations and social classes for more than ten years. Someone has said that from kitsch to blood there is only one step; a look at Belgrade on the eve of the third millennium unequivocally implies that such urban mutations can only be produced by a society whose hands are covered in blood.

  • By myself
    • 148
      Michał Książek

      It’s good to walk in a north‑easterly direction just after sun‑up, towards the end of April, if you have a big nose and ears. You turn yourself to the light so that it warms the right slope of your nose and spills over a little onto your left cheek, and so that it also falls not straight into your ear but onto the back of the lobe, and then you sense the direction like an old bullfinch, as if you were shooting along the course of a river or the shaft of the Plough. The fundus of the eye, with its sensitivity to the angle of the sun’s rays, is another useful instrument. All this proves crucial if you have to walk three or four kilometres in a forest as primeval as that east of Hajnówka, where there are dead and fallen trees and hollows everywhere, and you need your hands to make progress as much as your feet, which means you have no way of using your compass or your navigator.