Lucas Lenglet
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environments

ENVIRONMENTS Echoes of the Ancient World is a series of 15 volumes published in the late 70s and early 80s by Orbis Publishing in London. All of them were conceived of and edited by Werner Forman, who was also responsible for the photography. Forman’s lifework was devoted to the photographic documentation of the history, art, [...]

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ENVIRONMENTS

Echoes of the Ancient World is a series of 15 volumes published in the late 70s and early 80s by Orbis Publishing in London. All of them were conceived of and edited by Werner Forman, who was also responsible for the photography. Forman’s lifework was devoted to the photographic documentation of the history, art, religion and customs of the great civilizations and tribal societies of the past. Remarkably, these popular books not only record the artifacts of the civilizations in focus, but they also depict the landscapes the people lived in. These landscapes are included in order to illustrate the circumstances of their lives and the atmosphere of their culture. What interests me about the landscapes is that they were photographed in the present – they are contemporary. Just as contemporary as the documentation of the artifacts, since these objects, without exception, bear the traces of time. It is impossible to see the historical landscape through the images in Forman’s photographs. It all comes down to our imagination to envision what the culture, environment and circumstances were like.