Céline Clanet


January 7–31, 2010

Máze, or Masi, is a small Norwegian village above the Arctic Circle with a population of about 350. Nearly all of its residents are Sami, an indigenous group native to Lapland. Between 2005 and 2009, French artist Céline Clanet traveled there regularly photographing its people and the herds of reindeer on which many Sami depend.

Clanet found those she met to be proud of their territory, inextricably connected to the landscape, and never without their binoculars - even in their homes. Yet Máze might not exist today as it appears in these photographs. Had a hydroelectric dam been built in the early 1970s as planned, the entire village would have disappeared underwater.

While this particular threat to the community is long past, others loom.  Clanet sees her work as capturing "a reality that will undoubtedly transform in the coming century, due to global warming and cultural integration." For her, "Máze is an ambivalent symbol of resistance and helplessness."

Born in 1977, Clanet currently lives and works in Paris. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, Arles, with Jury Honors in 1999. Winner of Photolucida's Critical Mass Book Award in 2009, her volume of photographs from Máze was forthcoming in early 2010.