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Hyperboréal – Anne Favret and Patrick Manez

“Hyperboréal” takes up some of the issues addressed in our previous book “Les Arpenteurs”: the utopian community, the fictional narrative. If utopia there is, it resides in the body of images and in our attitude towards the reality of this territory. We have set out to take the systematic opposite of the expectations we project on this country to show a reality much more prosaic and ultimately very close to what we know in our latitudes. Our photographs explore the tension between this apparent banality and the unique change of scenery of this place. Siegfried Kracauer in his 1951 text “The Photographic Approach” theorizes the photographer’s vision as an imaginative reader in front of reality, this vision perfectly sums up our approach.

We have worked in the far east of Iceland, in a territory ranging from the Karahnjukar Dam, north of the Vatnajôkull glacier, to Reydarfjôrdur where the Fjardaal smelter owned by the American company Alcoa was established, which the “aluminium dam” supplies with hydroelectric power. Our extreme points are located 75 km from each other, at the limits of the living space, from the high plateaus to the eastern fjords. This photographic series consists of portraits, urban views and landscapes. To paraphrase Chris Marker, we tracked down the banality with the stubbornness of a treasure hunter, while confronting this banality with these spaces of fringe, of borders beyond which it is humanly even more difficult to adapt.

(Anne Favret and Patrick Manez)

Pigment prints on rag paper, framed. Various formats.

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