|All images © Copyright 2011, courtesy Birthe Piontek and Charles Guice Contemporary. Above: Doyard.|
The idealization of the North has been nourished by the stories of Jack London, the films about the area’s pristine tapestry, and by the Northern Lights, which to this day have lost none of their spiritual fascination or magical appeal. In 2008, Birthe Piontek drove from her home in Vancouver, Canada, more than 1,900 miles to Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Intrigued by the setting, the people, and the light, Piontek enjoyed the idea of the quiet, peaceful town “where everybody knows each other but there are so many underlying secrets and dark stories to discover.”
In an introduction for the artist’s new monograph, The Idea of North, Karen Irvine, curator for the Museum of Contemporary Photography, writes, “like David Lynch, Birthe Piontek demonstrates an aesthetic preference for portraying people in dramatic light and endowing each composition with a sense of eerie foreboding.” Piontek’s work has been exhibited internationally, and has been featured in publications including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Stern, Wired and Die Zeit. She is represented by Charles Guice Contemporary.
– courtesy Charles Guice Contemporary.