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Man and Nature

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Through to March 11, 2023, Leica Gallery Vienna presents the exhibition ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award – On the Relationship between Man and the Environment’, featuring photographs by Luca Locatelli, Nichole Sobecki, and Kechun Zhang.

In 2020, Luca Locatelli won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his series ‘Future Studies’. His dystopian images – some of which were captured at a disused East-German nuclear power plant – are now on show at Leica Gallery Vienna until March 11, 2023. The Italian-born photographer (b. 1971) worked as a software developer for ten years, before exchanging mouse and keyboard for camera and lens. Within a short space of time, Locatelli advanced to a multi-award-winning documentary photographer. In ’Future Studies’, he shows the downsides of incessant economic growth, and of society’s ongoing adaptation to an eco-system that is increasingly shaped by technological progress. Locatelli utilises these advancements as the foundation for his ‘dystopian visions’.

The exhibition also encompasses excerpts from the series ‘Where Our Land Was’ by Nichole Sobecki (LOBA finalist 2021), and ‘Between Mountains and Water’ by Kechun Zhang (LOBA finalist 2018). Sobecki’s work focuses on the effects of climate change in Somalia: in her images the American photographer, who now lives in Nairobi, convey the human suffering caused by devastating environmental catastrophes.

Kechun Zhang’s series examines the relationship between man and nature in the context of China’s rapid industrial development. In his images, opulent mountains and rivers take centre stage – so that the people depicted in these sceneries seem almost like an afterthought.

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