Islands of Time - Ilulissat, Greenland

 later project | prior project | Islands of Time - Ilulissat, Greenland

Statement:

My current project entitled, "Islands of Time", consists of two parts. The first was my expedition to IIulissat, Greenland, a location significant for its exploration history as well as being the unique juncture where Jakobshaven glacier meets the water, producing giant icebergs. I then had 2000 lbs. of equipment flown into what was virtually the end of the world and proceeded to photograph this ultimate landscape while examining the idea of explorers vs. nature. Today, true, unspoiled nature seems little more than musings from 18th century memoirs and literature.

In fact, the concept of untouched nature presents a unique modern conundrum in the sense that nature is only marked by discovery, and as such, exposed and prone to change as soon as it is discovered. Simply put, the explorer finds a piece of nature, claims it, then tourism, commercial development, etc., soon follows. By staging what can be considered pristine nature, I not only reveal mans' intervention (the electrical wires mentioned above) but also delve into the idea of nature and how it is perceived by people.

For the second part of "Islands of Time" I will accompany a scientific expedition to the Roraima Plateau and the historically significant Tepuis in Venezuela where I will set out to create a media piece incorporating film, film stills and photographed collected specimens. The media piece will incorporate a dual narrative. One, investigating the history of exploration and its prominent figures, the second, probing the psychology and lifestyle of the individual explorer and the duality of how nature-science is financed by commercial entities and in the end used for their benefit.

A prime example is Werner Herzog's film, Aguirre The Wrath Of God, where he examines what happens when you place a working social structure (derived from western culture) in an alien environment where it has no means to survive. In my new piece I expand on this idea -- replacing the historical aspect of the movie with a contemporary subject and real people -- but again re-emphasizing the point of documentarian meets Hollywood fiction. In the end distinct parallels should emerge; one being the human perception of nature, the other, the psychology behind exploration and its use to further commercial interests. My ultimate goal with regards to this expedition is to participate as an artist and to collaborate, collect and research with scientists with the end result of fusing art, photography, psychology and science together as one.