Olaf Otto Becker
January 7–31, 2010
For his series "Broken Line," Becker searches for the visual splendor of a vast land few people visit: Greenland. To create these still, ghostly images of icebergs, glaciers, and isolated settlements eerily devoid of people, Becker patiently waits, alone, with a large-format 8x10 camera until the light is perfect, sometimes for days.
Trained as a painter, German artist Olaf Otto Becker claims he does not take photographs. Rather, he is "receiving and articulating the landscape." His formal compositions reminiscent of 19th-century landscape portraiture are not just products of Becker's curiosity about the world's largest island. They also express melancholy for a Greenland in flux: calm scenes that seem to foreshadow the potentially drastic effects of climate change.
Becker's endeavor with "Broken Line" is primarily an artistic one. Yet, by recording the precise latitude and longitude coordinates for each location, he is also creating a visual record beneficial to future documentarians of global warming.
Born in 1959, Becker’s work has been exhibited widely in Europe and the U.S. His publication featuring “Broken Line” won the German Fotobuchpreis 2008.