Visual history

In the urban environment history, with all its varied and confusing impressions, is unmistakably present. An ancient wall, a stone-plate, architectural styles and the use of different building materials, neon signs and signposts. History manifests itself all around us but we no longer seem to notice. At times, as tourists, we may temporarily be aware of what surrounds us.

On the fisherman III, 2001 History is made visible

In the countryside, history is often well-ordered and more clearly apparent but even here we seldom notice it nowadays. Rushing from one destination to another, even as tourists, we neither perceive nor take the time to interpret.

Hans Landsaat observes and teaches us to do the same. He also puts forward a method: "Travelling backwards".

His whole oeuvre - drawings, paintings and screenprints - finds its inspiration in the landscape, sometimes in the city and lately also on the water.

He confronts us with bridges, canals, borders and passes, rockformations, outends of railway lines, bodies, bloodstains and oildrums. Everything with a new order and poetry of its own. Hans Landsaat practises "visual history', he is a historian with a unique signature. History is made visible.

John Loose
Director of the Foundation for Visual Arts, Amsterdam

Amsterdam 2002

Introduction to the catalogue for the exhibition in the Konsthallen I Hishult, Sweden March-May 2002