The Pacific, Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, dreamers have long felt a kinship with America’s south west. Dutch photographer Marie-José Jongerius relocated to L.A. in 1999, intent on capturing the faces behind Hollywood and its pretenders, but found a different story in the unease between man and nature … the greenery in the desert; settlers attempts to reconfigure the landscape.
The Magic Tree comprises seven large format photographs that tell this melancholic tale, and is currently showing on native turf; Amsterdam’s The Ravestijn Gallery. Here Jongerius’s trees — foreign imports dependent on man in this hostile environment — form the narrative, they the endearing lead role. Tamed, untamed, the survivor of a forest fire, strangers to an extreme landscape at odds with itself, fighters … are the trees in this story that different to the actors, directors and writers Marie-José set out to document?
Marie-Jose Jongerius, The Magic Tree, runs until 27 February at The Ravestijn Gallery.