Brett Van Ort
10 March 2011 to 13 May 2011
198 Contemporay Arts & Learning
Brett Van Ort’s first UK based solo show Minescape, is a series of interactive photographs, showing Bosnian landscapes and the land mines that still occupy them 15 years after the end of the Bosnian War.
Brett travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 2009 to photograph areas that were once the front lines of the Bosnian War. He was told by workers from NGO Landmine Survivors Initiative not to wander into rural areas without a guide, Brett became intrigued by the landscape and the sense of fear that still haunted the Bosnian people. 14 years after the conflict caution had to be taken with every step. Bosnia achieved independence, but the legacy of the war left mines and ordinance scattered not only in the rural areas but in the major cities as well. As a vast majority of the mining was undocumented or known only to foot soldiers that fought in the areas, many innocent civilians have continued to lose their lives even after the conflict.
Brett’s landscapes depict the unknown, the terror and danger that lay beneath the surface that we cannot readily see. In the western world, nature is easily packaged, conquerable and free to roam through and explore without consequence. These pieces also show the regenerative power of nature and human beings insatiable appetite to expand, explore, conquer and transform nature into civility. Ironically, it is a man-made killing machine that protects the natural setting.
Brett Van Ort was born in Washington D.C and in raised Texas. He spent several years in Los Angeles working as a cinematographer. In 2009 he completed an MA in the Photojournalism/Documentary Photography program from The London College of Communication. His work has been featured in AP26, PhotoEspana in Madrid, PDN's Photo Annual, and FORMAT festival. Brett currently lives and works in London.