Olaf Otto Becker – Reading the Landscape
In the first, breathtakingly beautiful photographs of his Habitat series, Olaf Otto Becker (* 1959) presents us with idyllic dreamlike places, paradisiacal tableaus from the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia. Romantic floodplains, tree trunks slung with liana vines, ecological niches for countless life forms—these are the kinds of untouched tropical rainforests that we picture in our dreams. Even the temperate rainforest of Redwood National Parks in California seems reassuringly intact. The mammoth trees are surviving thanks to rigorous conservation measures.
In contrast, in the second half of his series Becker painfully shows us what happens throughout the globe when internationally operating companies clear large tracts of land and giant areas of barren, treeless terrain result. Erosion also does its work, and no life can survive in these places. In the final section Becker presents the artificial “forests” conceived by various international architects to insert greenery into urban space. Is this our vision of the future?