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The arctic photography of Bogdan Luca
These photographs of arctic glaciers and islands were made in June of 2014 by the Toronto artist Bogdan Luca during an Arctic Circle Residency in which Luca and twenty-nine other participants—artists, writers, architects, musicians, scientists—voyaged in a tall ship for two weeks and in constant daylight around northern Scandinavia. Each day they went onto the land—preceded by armed guides on bear watch—in order to study the landscape and develop art projects.
The Arctic world only occasionally breaches the surface of our global consciousness. Early Arctic exploration inspired the Romantic literature of Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and Mary Shelley (Dr. Frankenstein pursued his monster onto the ice floes, where he perished). “These nineteenth-century works shaped my view of the Arctic,” Bogdan Luca writes in his artist statement. “It was only when I traveled there that I learned about the intense whaling that brought the right whale to the brink of extinction by the end of the eighteenth century. The Arctic surfaced once more in our imagination when Robert Peary reached the North Pole in 1909. Today we know that the melting of the ice cap will significantly affect sea levels. Melting ice clears the way for constant use of the Northeast and Northwest passages. Furthermore, retreating sea ice makes it much easier to drill for natural gas and oil in the Arctic Ocean.”
Luca made these photographs using long exposures (usually associated with night photography); he used a piece of cracked welding glass as a filter. He also buried a time capsule containing work by several Toronto artists in an ice cap in the Svalbard Archipelago. See more of Luca’s work at bogdanluca.com.