The Arctic is vast, wild, and cold. Olaf Otto Becker spent three long years traveling solo through it to photograph his stunning collection called Broken Line. And his trip around Greenland was all done from a rubber dinghy using a large format camera.
His photographs from those years, published in a monograph called Broken Line, number less than a hundred, each the product of careful deliberate planning. Becker would often spend weeks preparing to take a shot, waiting for the perfect conditions. The long-exposure images are haunting, full of luminescent waters and glowing glacial ice, and every so often, a human, clambering across dirty snow melts or clinging to the coastline in ramshackle fishing huts. It’s difficult to reconcile the knowledge that such pathetic-looking creatures are slowly but surely destroying the sublime landscapes in Becker’s photographs, but they are.
As argued by Utata’s Greg Fallis, his photographs contain a strong political subtext, though it may not be immediately obvious. Each image is accompanied by the precise GPS coordinates of where it was shot, implying that Becker (or some other person) will eventually return to that exact location, perhaps to photograph it once more. What they find, warns climate data, will be a vastly changed place.