Author(s): Anthony Bannon
Eden or paradise, that place of perfect happiness, is an ideal that resonates across times and cultures. Picturing Eden assembles the work of contemporary photographers looking for their own paradises, some from a place of contemplation and restoration, some from a place of loneliness and despair. The differences between the heavens they seek and the comparatively dark, messy earth they are limited to charge their work with both political and environmental concerns--this is no heaven. And yet sometimes they make it seem so. By looking at the notion of paradise and the garden through the photographic lens, the book highlights the original lost innocence and the ongoing significance of a humanistic environment, and considers paradise's place in the history of art. Picturing Eden includes work from Adam Fuss, Alec Soth, Doug and Mike Starn and Sally Mann among others.