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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Ranney’

Preview: The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey, Edward Ranney, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Gallery on September 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Nazca Pampa, 1985, by Edward Ranney

Now open at Deborah Bell Photographs, experience the desolate beauty captured by Edward Ranney in Peru.

The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey will feature 17 photographs taken in Peru, where Ranney began photographing over 50 years ago. Included will be selections from his recently published book, “The Lines,” which depict markings in the Peruvian desert made by the ancient Nazcas, a relatively small culture that flourished on Peru’s southern coast from around the beginning of the Christian era until 600 AD. The purpose and meanings of these ancient geoglyphs, made by clearing the surface of the desert floor, or by creating paths of stones, remain mysterious and open to different interpretations by scholars. As Ranney explains in a preface to The Lines (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014):

“Just south of Peru’s Ingenio River Valley there is a low hill alongside the Pan-American highway. Here one can overlook the vast, confounding space of the Nazca Pampa and make out some of the lines, or geoglyphs, etched on it by the Nazca culture some fifteen hundred years ago. The lines on the pampa, particularly the figural geoglyphs, have been documented in detail over the last sixty years by aerial photographs, which have given us a broader understanding of their unique qualities. Yet in spite of the information provided by aerial views, it seems to me there is still much to be gained by seeing and experiencing the lines on ground level, as their creators did. … In addition to their perceptual qualities, the lines can be seen as a form of mapping, marking reference points and connections within the landscape, thereby transforming a harsh natural environment into an understandable, even intimate cultural space. … Important ceremonies undoubtedly took place along and within these lines. … It was also thought that the lines, trapezoids, and swept gathering places were sites of ceremonial processions and pilgrimages, and were renewed and reconfigured over many generations. It is unlikely we will ever know definitively what the geoglyphs meant to their creators. But what is clear is that they mark places – and times – of significance. This minimal landscape continues to reveal to us a fragile record of its human occupation. It is a record of elusive meaning, a unique evocation of the inalterable connection between humans and nature.”

The exhibit is now open and will be available for viewing between 11am-6pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Its conclusion will come November 4th.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs