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A Photographer Sets Out for Greenland to Capture Melting Glaciers, Changing Tides

Steve Giovinco uses eerie light in dark photographs to document climate change and forgotten history.

by Francesca Capossela
Aug 2 2016, 3:40pm

Images courtesy of the artist

On August 16th, a photographer will set out for Greenland, tracing the path of Norse explorer Leif Eriksson, with the goal of documenting melting glaciers, paying tribute to the country’s history, and documenting human intervention in nature. This series, called Inertia, continues Steve Giovinco’s landscape work, and will take place largely at dawn, twilight, and nighttime. In addition to capturing the effects of climate change and the landscape’s transformation, Giovinco will document historical sites and ruins.

The photographer began his documentation of historical and natural sites fifteen years ago in Newfoundland, Canada, very near to the place where the explorer he is invoking landed (Eriksson is said to be the first European to reach North America). His travels to Greenland will allow him to expand his project and to explore more deeply Eriksson’s European expedition, which is largely forgotten by history.

Funded by grants from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Lois Roth Endowment, Giovinco hopes to bring attention to climate change, and to remind people of the dramatic environmental issues occurring in Greenland. Paradoxically, Inertia will capture the changes in landscape and communities. Much of Giovinco’s work, which captures landscapes from Wyoming to Labrador, is haunting—depicting eerie lights in mostly-dark images. The photographer’s focus on the darkest times of the day for his upcoming project promises to convey a similarly eerie nature.

Inspired by Hudson River Landscape Painters, as well as Scandinavian, German, and Danish cinema, Giovinco’s depictions of landscape draw on traditions of landscape portrayal, while simultaneously exhibiting his unique eye. As Giovinco works in Greenland for the next month, he will keep the social media world updated using the hashtag #GreenlandPhoto. And, when he returns, Giovinco plans to compile his photographs into a small book, and to give several talks on the environment and his work in Greenland. See more of Giovinco's work below: 

Click here to learn more about the project.

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