Terra Nullius, 2006
This visual essay is about writing on top of the landscape – treating the landscape as a blank slate of which you can take possession by leaving signs and traces. The book quotes historical texts that deal with acts of possession by the European discoverers of ‘The New World’. The discoverers wanted to claim the lands they found as their possession, but didn’t yet have a fixed method of doing so. Every nation would create a different set of symbolic acts of possession. Some of these acts are akin to theatrical performances, others are more sculptural. In Terra Nullius these texts are connected to photos made in England, Holland and the US. The photos are not illustrations of the actual, historical signs of possession that the texts speak about, but visualize the act of making inscriptions on the landscape in a broader way.