The American landscape is fertile ground for my photographic exploration of the land use issues facing our society today. I see myself as a witness to the effects of humankind's interventions and excesses, which have a tremendous environmental impact on the earth. Much of my work is characterized by a very visceral response to the earth itself, whether it is to the red soil of the American South laid bare by development, the cross sections of strip-mined rock strata, or the disturbingly artificial color of golf course greens. I spent almost two decades making photographs throughout the continental U.S. It is my intention that this work convey the impact that our extraction industries and overdevelopment have on the environment. My hope is that the ironic beauty found in the sites I photograph will create an opening for the viewer to discover the multiple layers of meaning inherent in the American landscape, while maintaining a critical awareness of the environmental issues revealed in these photographic explorations.
Excerpt from his essay in the FOTOFEST2006 catalogue.
JOHN GANIS Consuming the American Landscape
Consuming the American Landscape, shows the effects of humankind’s interventions and excesses that have a tremendous environmental impact on the Earth. Colorful landscapes depict an irony between the natural beauty of the environment and the impact of human developments that appear as slights upon the land in which we live.
John Ganis is currently a professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he has taught since 1980. His monograph Consuming the American Landscape (Stockport, England: Dewi Lewis, and Heidelberg, Germany: Edition Braus, 2003) features an essay by Robert Sobieszek, poetry by the distinguished anthropologist Stanley Diamond, and an afterword by George Thompson of the Center for American Places. Ganis received a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and a M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, Tucson. His color photographs of land use have been exhibited widely and published in Camera Austria International, Photo Technik International, Blue Sky #36, Aperture’s "Beyond Wilderness" issue, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibition catalogue Crossing the Frontier: Photographs of the Developing West… Photographs by Ganis are included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; and Detroit Institute of Arts.