Sky Replacement Tool

4-28 April 2023. 

Opening: 4 April 18:00

Opening speech: Géza Kulcsár, urbanist 

Landscape painting was born in Europe in the 15th century at the same time as the urban lifestyle was emerging. The artist’s should leave the urban environment to be able to observe the beauty or the harshness of the natural landscape, which played an essential role in the birth of the classical landscape genre. Initially, landscape painting was used as a backdrop for biblical, mythological or everyday scenes, but certainly human-centered ones. The authentic depiction of organic environments later became increasingly important, until the genre of landscape painting was born in the 19th century. The philosophical background of the ideal landscape was provided by the Romantic mindset, the love of nature and the need to enjoy the real landscape – a kind of escapism. Romantic philosophy of nature and landscape painting believed that there was an inextricable link between the landscape and the human soul, which was also reflected in the paintings of the period. From then on, the way in which landscape was depicted always reflected the worldview of the times, perfectly reflecting the way in which man viewed the actual environment around him. 

Thanks to digital photographic technologies, landscape manipulation is possible with just a few clicks in the 21st century. The Sky Replacement Tool, an automated image manipulation tool in Photoshop’s image editing interface, was originally designed to refine the color of the sky, but can be used to completely transform or even replace the original scene. Just as the Sky Replacement Tool reconstructs the real sky, the exhibition reinterprets the romantic landscape along the lines of the crisis processes currently taking place in our world. The interpretations of landscape in the exhibition are linked by speculations about the unfolding crisis of civilization, information and ecology, a kind of speculative romanticism, one might say. 

The exhibition is part of the official programme of the Budapest PhotoFestival 2023.

Exhibiting artists: Benedek BOGNÁR, Máté LUKÁCS, Julianna NYÍRI