National Georgraphic August 2007

This ad seems to portray what Escobar terms Capitalist Nature. The expansive vista of the sky frames the KIA Amanti which in turn, through its rear window, frames the sunbather.  This ad is composed with a linear perspective focused on the aforementioned elements, as well the angular, modern [read: strictly geometric] and stark white design of the house. As the viewer, we are outside of this luxurious moment in this exclusive location. Its exclusivity is communicated by the expansive backdrop of the uninterrupted view of the sky, and the privateinfnity edge swimming poolnext to which the model relaxes. The image communicates that this type of relaxation in such a setting is the only way to enjoy the sky and blue waters. The car itself is parked near the pool on pristine white tiles, certainly not where one would expect a car to be, tellign us that the “well-appointed” yet relatively affordable KIA Amanti can be the regular person’s means to enjoying an attainable version of the ‘good life’.

The sunbather is completely anonymous in that we cannot discern any of her features, but we know that she is a woman becuase she is relaxes under the sun that we cannot see, wearing a white swimsuit. She is just a small part ofthe landscape, the only curves aside from those of the car and the coud formations. She is completely objectified as decoration for the car, as much as the skyscape is objectified to highlight the car. Add to that the fact that she is shown through the back window, doubly a reference to raer leg room for seated passengers, however the combination of her near nudity and recline dposition also obliquely refers to other [innuendo] backseat possibilities.

So we must ask, what is missing?

1) The person who sits inteh other beach chair, presumably the Man through whose eyes we may be looking. His view of his home, his car, his woman and private view.

2) Water fowl for starters. Land other than the tiled ground on which the car rests. This location is completely anonymous, unknown and unknowable beyond the implications of rarified air that most people who purchase a $26k car will never, ever know.

What is this ad communicating? About Nature?

This car is the way to appear wealthier and more refined to onlookers. Nature is nothing more than background colors and textures that can enhance the beauty of man made creature comforts, it is not spectacle in itself, only adornment for material possessions.

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Myths of Nature in post-WWII National Geographic Car Advertisements by Shwandel N. Fraser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.