KIM KEEVER’s large-scale photographs are created by meticulously constructing miniature topographies in a 200-gallon tank, which is then filled with water. These dioramas of fictitious environments are brought to life with colored lights and the dispersal of pigment, producing ephemeral atmospheres that he must quickly capture with his large-format camera.
Keever’s painterly panoramas represent a continuation of the landscape tradition, as well as an evolution of the genre. Referencing a broad history of landscape painting, especially that of Romanticism, the Hudson River School and Luminism, they are imbued with a sense of the sublime. However, they also show a subversive side that deliberately acknowledges their contemporary contrivance and conceptual artifice. Keever’s staged scenery is characterized by a psychology of timelessness. A combination of the real and the imaginary, they document places that somehow we know, but never were. The symbolic qualities he achieves result from his understanding of the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, Keever fabricates an illusion to conjure the realms of our imagination.