PHOXXI 17 March — 18 June 2023

The Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson (*1958), one the most sought-after Nordic photographers, has long observed climate change with great concern. For more than 40 years he has documented the dramatic changes in landscapes and habitats on the fringes of the habitable world, traveling to the most remote and isolated regions of the Arctic, to Inuit hunters in northern Canada and Greenland, to farmers and fishermen in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and to indigenous populations in northern Scandinavia and Siberia.

This first retrospective of Axelsson’s impressive black-and-white photographs makes the extraordinary relationships between people, animals, and places in the Arctic and their extreme environment visible—relationships that are subject to profound and complex changes due to unprecedented climate change.

Axelsson’s information comes from first-hand accounts by local people. Undeterred by the risks and effort involved, he travels to remote places to spend extended periods of time with them. For this reason, and because he shares their often arduous daily life with them, he gains their trust. This allows him to take snapshots of their lives and write down their stories, thus becoming an ambassador of their existence and the changing living conditions.

The other major theme that excites him is the power of the elements and the grandeur of Nordic nature, as evidenced in his impressive photographic landscape portraits. With the perspective of a researcher and artist, he also analyzes minute natural structures, which recall modernist drawings by Paul Klee or Per Kirkeby.

Curators: Ingo Taubhorn (curator, House of Photography) and Isabel Siben (Kunstfoyer, Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung, Munich)
Produced in cooperation with the Kunstfoyer, Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung, Munich

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The catalog accompanying the exhibition of the same name is the first personal compilation of Ragnar Axelsson's life's work, with texts by Ragnar Axelsson and Isabel Siben, German and English, published by Kehrer Verlag, 224 pages, 149 duplex illustrations, hardcover, 24.5 x 29.4 cm, design: Einar Geir Ingvarsson.

Out of print in bookstores, only available at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.