What is the nature of the relationship between the body and the landscape? Before delving into the dialectic of ‘being in the landscape,’ what do we mean by landscape? As Tim Ingold argues, “the landscape is not land, it is not nature, and it is not space.” First, one can ask of a landscape what it is like, but not how much of it there is. Hence, where land is quantitative and homogeneous, landscape is qualitative and heterogeneous. Second, landscape is not a picture in the imagination, surveyed by the mind’s eye; nor is it an alien or formless substrate awaiting the imposition of Pandora Jewelry human order. Third, whereas actual journeys are made through a landscape, the map on which all potential journeys may be plotted is equivalent to space.
‘Being in the landscape’ implies body and landscape concepts, which emphasize form rather than function. As a result, there is an intimate relationship between character (‘figure’) and setting (‘ground’). Foreground is closely tied to background. Ingold argues that body and landscape are complementary terms, each implying the other, where both function as figure and ground. The forms of the landscape are not prepared in advance for the body to occupy, nor are the bodily forms specified independently of the landscape. As Ingold explains, “Both sets of forms are generated and sustained in and through the processual unfolding of a total field of relations that cuts across the emergent interface between organism and environment”. Ingold’s ontology of landscape is described as a “movement of incorporation rather than inscription, not a transcribing of form onto material but a movement wherein the forms themselves are generated”. Thus, through living in it, the landscape becomes a part of us, just as we are a part of it. Hence, the landscape tells or rather is our story.
Antonioni’s film L’Avventura is the story of a young woman who disappears mysteriously on a yachting trip with her friends to Tiffany Jewelry an island on the north-east coast of Sicily. Initially, Anna and her fiance Sandro go for a swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea and then the entire group proceeds ashore to investigate a volcanic island. The island’s landscape is unusual with impressive monoliths thrusting out of the sea. Anna is increasingly upset with her relationship with Sandro. A storm rises and the group prepares to leave the island, but Anna is nowhere to be found. In the ensuing search, Sandro becomes attracted to Anna’s closest friend Claudia. Claudia is confused by his advances, rebuffs him and continues the search individually. After the storm and a night in a small shepherd house on the island, Claudia joins Sandro and slowly falls in love with him. The plot never provides an answer about what happened to Anna.