PERDITA, IN FINDING(S) / LOCUS—78.27451,15635231 (LOCATING ABANDONED / SVALBARD AND JAN MAYEN)
A faint stitched-together landscape printed on delicate newsprint depicts Abandoned, a physical place in the Svalbard archipelago far north of Norway. The overt use of the “stitched” aesthetic of multiple images points to photographic media’s inherent fragmentation of place. Yet these fragments easily build into the recognizable idea of “Abandoned” as a dim nondescript arctic scape, a non-place that has been pieced together. This contradiction prompts an instinct to search for tools to orient the self to place. In line with this, four smaller accompanying images show the artist’s hand pointing in each cardinal direction in the act of orientation. They serve as an imprecise compass stand-in implying an understanding of the location from within the images’ temporal limits. Printed with warm tones and paper, the piece speaks to the history of arctic photography and the many published reports that brought back first views of the arctic.