Artist Statement

It all comes back to the land, and our relationships to it. My art practice is rooted in a deep questioning of site/sight: shifting perspective from a passive landscape to a living land with sentience and its own stories.

Within this context, my photography is engaged in what I call ‘political landscape’ work: the reframing of environments as inextricably linked to geo-political struggle. Growing up across languages, continents and cultures, I approach globalised systems of power from a transnational perspective, building long form investigations into the landscapes and structures of capitalism and colonialism.

 

Movement, travel and migration lead my practice and inform the wide array of interconnected geographies that are present in my projects. Using analog cameras, I try to slow down the photographic process to really connect with the spaces I am working with and to have more time to reflect on the underlying forces that give these places form.

Coming of age in an era of ecological collapse and systemic instability, I use photography as an investigative medium to understand the direction we are heading in, to unearth the root causes of the crises we are living through and to manifest the hope we will need for healing and liberation in the times to come.

2016 08 26 - Spain_02.jpg
2020 02 01 - LA_14.jpg

Bio

Red Rotkopf (b. 1994) is a London born visual artist, investigative researcher and organizer of Mexican-American and French-Tunisian descent. 

Red has lived in California for the last five years between Los Angeles (Tongva territory) and the Owens Valley ( Nüümü territory), working at the Metabolic Studio: an environmental arts organisation which focuses on regenerative actions at a community and infrastructural scale. During his time there he worked within the Optics Division, a collaborative analog photography practice, where he produced the ‘Crisis Archive’ project: a roving photo-journalistic reflection of the socio-environmental crises and popular uprisings of 2016-2020 across the Americas. Interweaving sites linked by extractivism, settler colonialism, indigenous resistance, climate change and migration. From Los Angeles to Standing Rock and Cochabamba and Puerto Rico.

 

Red’s organizing exists inside and outside institutions by centering the struggles of indigenous people for their land and rights to self-determination through commitment to direct action, community events and directing institutional resources to frontline land & water defenders in their respective territories. 

 

Red is currently moving throughout California working on a new landscape photography project about the production and disruption of settler-colonial histories in the state named: ‘How the West was Won’.


contact: redrotkopf@live.co.uk
CV / portfolio available upon request