Fleurieuscapes as place not landscape

As I mentioned in this post on the poodlewalks  blog,  I have neglected the Fleurieuscapes project because of my focus on other projects.  Though I  have been plugging away  in a desultory and sporadic fashion, but I really unsure of what I am trying to do with this body of work from my coastal-based photographic practice. Photography, I've realised is good at showing and lousy at explaining.  So what an I going to show? 

The project is about place, and it is different to the Littoral Zone, Abstraction and Tree projects, even if it  does incorporate the odd image from these other projects. Place in the sense of the space of the Fleurieu Peninsula, where people live and have  made this space  their home. So  though Fleurieuscapes  incorporates  nature it also looks at the built environment at a specific historical moment.   

The architectonic of these projects  as it were, is that all of these projects are connected in that  they emerge out of the daily poodlewalks and are on  the Posthaven publishing platform . All the  above mentioned other projects are  sub-projects of Fleurieuscapes.  Anabranches as it were. Or members of a specific family.   

Conceptualizing  the Fleurieu Peninsula as a  place is a major shift in the way that I understand the project, because I initially conceptualised it  as being about  photography and landscape  in contrast to  photographng the urban environment of Adelaide.   Place as in 'where I have made my home'  is how the people who live on the coast understand this coastal space. My understanding of place comes from Jeff Malpas, who, in his Place and Experience,   said that place is a gathering of people and things (i.e. a definite situation) that is simultaneously bounded and distinctive yet opens to the world and is open to the world. 

So what am I trying to do with my coastal-based photographic practice about this  place? I dunno at this stage, even though I realise that photography is, arguably, as space- or place-based as it is time based,   'Place' is such a big category  as it  covers all sorts of subject matter. Trying to represent what it really looks like is beyond the capacity of photography as Joerg Colberg points out.   

 The representation of this place  is going to be biased,  since  photography  is based on the process of selection, on the artist’s ability and willingness to make decisions,  to prefer one thing over another and in the way they edit their archive of photos for an exhibition or  book.  So it is a showing of photos of a  particular place from a particular perspective within  the Anthropocene, given the decisive influence of humankind on the state, dynamics and future of the planet.   The Anthropocene quashes any residual's  attempts to maintain nature’s “otherness.

The idea of landscape  in photographic culture has recently been expanded (inflated?)  to include the urban environment, but, even though the concept of landscape is a historically complex one,   I want to keep the urbanscape or city separate from the concept of the landscape.  The conceptual shift from landscape to place, which incorporates nature and urban,  is to a locality that I  also call home. To be at home here means belonging; or being inside a place.  On this account place is no longer  just a backdrop  for human lives.   

This place that I belong to is a locality that has become familiar to me.  So how do I show something that is  interesting when the streets of the Victor Harbor township have little in the way of vitality? I am often the only person walking through them early in the morning. I am really struggling to find a form to articulate something significant about this subject matter.  In the first instance I need  to make the familiar unfamiliar.  The history of what is  familiar is that of settler capitalism and this history  in some ways is like a foreign country, in that it is unknown.