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Þórsmörk
Neskaupstaður, Iceland

// 02.10.2021 - 24.10.2021

   The series, Arctic Council, was conceptualized in 2019.  I had just moved to Iceland and although the intention of that was not escapism, I admit, I was relieved to be leaving the growing circus in the United States.
   It was not too long after arriving that I had come across an article from National Geographic titled “As Arctic ice melts, a new Cold War brews.”  The article discussed the increasing interest of countries in controlling the thawing Arctic and the lack of strong institution, like the Arctic Council, in handling such an issue.  Additionally, it pointed at the attractive geographical base that Iceland could serve as for arctic exploration. It was at that moment when I realized there are a lot less safe spaces left than I previously thought.
   What is important to understand about this series is that nothing should be taken at face value.  Our crisis era problems know no borders.  What is environmental blends with political, which then blends with social, and again blends with personal. As a result, that twisted knot rolls like a snowball, gaining size and speed. The snowball grows while the planet warms.  It is a paradox and each work should be viewed as such.
   Individual pieces of this series are titled after the eight countries that comprise the Arctic Council.  There is an additional ninth piece named after the People’s Republic of China, since they have made territorial claim as a “near-Arctic state.”  Aside from climate change, my intention was to explore additional crisis era themes, such as #metoo movement, overpopulation, opioid addiction, systemic racism, space exploration, and the ongoing digital revolution. The quotes are of personal experience and should simultaneously elevate the related piece and distort it into confusion.  All the while, a single cell lurks in the background of the series, growing more apparent and forthcoming until it eventually splits in two.