Yogan Muller

Hraun*, Iceland, 2010-present

What does “nature” look like? Can I get close enough to photograph it? And once I’d have captured “nature”, how can I be sure that I haven’t altered its essence in any way?

Thanks to a reasonable fluency in the Icelandic language, I went off the roads that the Icelandic tourist industry paved for us. Obstructed by the toponymy, the electrical lines and the myriad of roads, nature then became an impossible concept. It was late 2013.

I came back in 2014 and 2015 informed by the intense discussion around the notion of “Anthropocene”. I then set out to focus my attention on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, a relatively small area where two thirds of the country’s population live.

Affected by the typical urban sprawl and the silent yet dramatic geological pressure at the same time, the peninsula seems torn apart between an avid modernization and the careful listening of the Earth tremors or the whispers of the elves.

There, humans and non-humans seemed to rely on each other more than ever. I tried to photograph that mutual support (i.e. that “earthian” bond), bringing the two entities together in the frame in a sense of fraternity.

(*) : lava in Icelandic

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