A discussion of the sublime at work in Edward Burtynsky,  Andreas Gursky and Mishka Henner

This is a link to my undergraduate dissertation. The paper sets out to use the sublime as a critical tool to analyze three images by three prominent contemporary landscape photographers (images above). The photographers, Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky and Mishka Henner are all highly regarded in the art world and disseminate their work in the context of the art gallery. This paper discusses the sublime as a philosophical concept, using historical and contemporary debate to aid in the analysis of the chosen case studies. My analysis of each of the images begins in a first hand experience of seeing the work in its intended viewing context of the art gallery. This is not only an intentional strategy to disrupt the way the sublime is usually written about but also acts as a primary source of my research. It could be said that recent scholarship of the sublime has inadvertently tamed it by distancing the analysis away from lived experience. To combat this, as part of my analysis I have woven these personal experiences through historical and contemporary arguments. 

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