But then I learned from Petra Giloy-Hirtz' introduction that "for four years, Becker sought out certain sites over and over again, observing them for days at a time to find out what was typical about them, yet unique and previously unseen." I briefly wondered how one can know what was previously unseen, and by whom, but was then told that "the results are landscape photographs of great beauty, of an untouched and magical nature seemingly from a distant cosmos. And photographs from a changing landscape: cultivated or damaged by human hands".
The only permanent thing is change, the Buddhists say, and this is precisely what Olaf Otto Becker and Hatje Cantz are showing us by juxtaposing photographs of the same site but from a different time. To demonstrate this by using "untouched" nature makes it especially convincing. And fascinating.
There is also another kind of pictures to be found in this book. Products of our man-made world. To me, they look totally unreal. They do not seem to belong, they appear as if from outer space. I felt touched by them, I saw them as testimony of how lost we are in this world.
Judging from Gloy-Hirtz intro, Becker had other things in mind when taking these shots. For him they seem to document how "heedlessly" we treat nature. Not that I disagree, I just happen to read his photographs differently.
Under the Nordic Light
A Journey through Time / Iceland 1999-2011
Hatke Cantz, Ostfildern 2011