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Peter Funch: Expedition Mt. Baker

The most recent series from photographer Peter Funch, in collaboration with Project Pleasure, creates a narrative on the fragility of nature that would exist as art and a warning.  Expedition Mt. Baker’s photographs are reminiscent of yesterday’s postcards, seemingly frozen in time, unlike the ice that slowly melts beneath its peaks.

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From a recent spotlight in The New Yorker:

“This past September, the photographer Peter Funch, along with a team of assistants, travelled to Bellingham, Washington, to document Mt. Baker’s ten glaciers. The resulting body of work, “Expedition: Mt. Baker,” made in collaboration with the organization Project Pressure, will be included in the group’s open-source database, which will launch in 2015 and document glacial recession around the globe.

The images that Funch produced for his series are primarily re-creations of old photographs and postcards of Mt. Baker. A distinguishing feature is Funch’s use of RGB tricolor separation, an early photographic process that uses red, green, and blue filters to make three monochrome images, taken one after the other, which are then combined to make a single full-color image. This process allowed Funch to capture a sense of time passing. “Although imperceptible, each photograph has a narrative,” Funch wrote in an essay describing the project.

The juxtaposition between Funch’s images and the decades-old postcards highlights how the landscape has changed over time. “The fascinating part of this project was to walk with the old Mt. Baker postcards in hand and find the exact same spot where a photo had previously been taken, or locating the vantage point of a painting made some hundred years ago. Once I was able to match up the view, the change in landscape became acutely obvious.”

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