Arctic Circle Project (III)
The Arctic Circle Project (from 2012 – present) is a meditation on the Arctic as both a real and imaginary ‘place’. Borrowing from concepts like ‘heterotopia’ and ‘countersite’, conceived by Michel Foucault, places like the Arctic are «a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites […] are simultaneously represented, contested, and invented. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality». In tandem, the Project asks questions about the role of the photograph as an authentic record – a means of knowing things – and the ‘souvenir’ as object, encapsulating memories of sites visited.
The third material ‘phase’ of the Project stems from an artist residency (September – October 2012) aboard a tall ship around the Svalbard archipelago, which was documented with a series of photographs and short films, ‘en plein air’ drawings, and a journal. During this residency, I often put myself in the role of Lippard in 1969, photographing other artists at work in the landscape and keeping a detailed, written record of the journey, bringing the Project full circle to its original inspiration. Selected photographs from the Svalbard expedition were made into an artist’s book.
The AC Project continues to evolve as an archive-installation.
Images are from an exhibition of the Arctic Circle Project at Galerie Saint-Simon, Versailles, France in November 2019 and the Skeiðarárhlaup - Micro performance festival - in July 2019, Skaftafell, Iceland.
--See Michel Foucault, « Texts/Contexts : Of Other Spaces », Diacritics, Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 1986 : 22-27; Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Penguin Books, 1977).