In conversation with Olaf Otto Becker
Since the late 1990s, Olaf Otto Becker (b. 1959- ) has been photographing landscape scenery in Iceland and Greenland with the intention to document how these landscapes are changing. Becker's photography captures the changes wrought by anthropogenically driven climate change, most notably by capturing the retreat of glaciers. Becker's practice, which foregrounds an aesthetic response to place, also photographs agricultural and urban landscapes, situating nature as part of our global economy. Images of living spaces contextualise human dwellings and living patterns for many people across the globe. This narrative is further elaborated upon in Becker's later projects, and discussed in the interview, which explores primary forests, deforestation, and the planting of urban spaces, but also situating his output within the context of global economies. This first in-depth interview with Becker discusses the evolution of his practice, his commitment to climate and environmental issues, and how this relates to the way the developed world treats nature as a resource in both the global north and the global south. The interview also investigates Becker's process of making images and engages with both the documentary and constructed strands of his photographs. New insights, such as the images' relationship to time (both in terms of photography, and the deep time of geology) and the uncanny nature of some of the re-photographed sites emerges, offering new insights into Becker's practice.