Linz Welch is an environmental and landscape photographer who is interested in how the photograph can act as filter between viewer and place, in its ability to reveal the truth of an environment. Linz’s approach to picture making is analytical and analogous, seeking the often-awkward relationships between object and location that tell of our relationship to the world around us through the way we arrange it.
Non-places exist as transient spaces of insignificance, in contrast to where we envision our lives lived. They exist in a state of placelessness through over organization and compartmentalization of our shared, developed, surroundings. Parking lots, gas stations, grocery stores, little corners of beige buildings and perfectly plotted planters. All share the same universality as archetypes in man’s topology, despite their many possible locations. All are spaces that carry no significant value in the manufactured landscape, they function through utilitarian purposes; necessary yet trivial in the minds of the many who use these spaces. Anonymity is often the only characteristic of those that pass through them. They are spaces we use, but they are marginal almost-places that pass out of our awareness immediately.
Place endures above all else, and first before the objects that create it are employed. Place does not simply cease to be when the objects within it are removed. Then, even the transitory placeless location exists as space that lives are lived within, and to experience the nowhere is to call into being the somewhere. The dichotomy of the placeless is that, once observed, mediated by the photograph, perspective and vantage point, placefulness is coaxed into being as its content moves into the awareness of the viewer. Personal, social and cultural connections are formed between bodies within the space as we begin to recognize them, creating the substance we crave, that was lost in the location’s inconsequentiality.
These photographs explore the line between placefulness and the non-place in the manmade landscape. This is where the banal contains oddness and awkwardness because of the coalescence of a menagerie of uninvolved components, where the intersections of place archetypes create unique locations in space. These singular aspects of placelessness transition into a kind of unique location, and that uniqueness is the definition of placefulness. The nature of this transition of place is studied through the documentation of our common areas, with an emphasis on formal relationships, and the plastic existence of them on the picture plane. The result of this spatial conflict creates a feeling of being foreign in familiar contexts. This experience allows value to be defined back into the surroundings we have willingly overlooked.