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Gursky uses a bird's-eye view to portray the collective behaviour of large social groups. His compositions illuminate the complex inter-relationship between man and his immediate environment. Landscapes often bear the traces of human activity, and yet our movements and actions are themselves determined by our physical surroundings. In this image, past and present are intertwined as modern-day tourists explore the archeological site of ancient Thebes, in Egypt. The landscape is revealed layer by layer, to show history extending its reach into the present.

August 2004