Because landscape photography so often means rendering the setting and the subject one in the same, the final images usually offer little room for interpretation. They may be powerful or sweeping, but they’re more about place than personality. What the camera captures is what exists—nature in its purest state. For photographer Fabien Baron, though, the challenge to defy that notion was a siren call.
This past April, Baron traveled with a team of assistants to the western region of Greenland to create his provocative series called Monuments, nine medium-format black-and-white photographs of icebergs that lend an almost unsettling, sinister light to the northern territory’s frozen landscape. Given that Greenland’s local language has four different word roots to express the concept of snow—and four more for ice—an artist’s interpretation seems particularly welcome here. “I really wanted the experience to be different from what people have seen before,” Baron, who is also Interview’s editorial director, explains. He saw his study of the massive icebergs, some as wide as a few city blocks, as more than just environment, but rather as fearsome figures that come alive in his lens. “I wanted to shoot them at night,” he says. “I felt the icebergs looked even more dangerous and more special at night. And I wanted to light them up like monuments.”