Photographs by Olaf Otto Becker. Text by Dr. Konrad Steffan. Interview by
Hatje Cantz, 2009. 160 pp., 75 color illustrations, 13½x11".
Following Broken Line, a prizewinning portrait of
the coast of Greenland, Olaf Otto Becker (born
in Travemünde, 1959) turns his attention to the
interior of the island in his new series, Above
Zero. Second only to Antarctica, Greenland has
the largest inland ice surfaces in the world.
Becker’s spectacular portraits of this region are
taken during physically strenuous, sometimes
life-threatening treks among glacial crevasses
and melting ice floes, with a cumbersome largeformat
camera. His photo studies draw out the
overwhelming beauty of this icy landscape,
while documenting their present fragility: dust
and rust in the air form black, crusty deposits,
which, in conjunction with global warming,
accelerate the melting of the ice sheets—with
what will probably be inevitable, catastrophic
results. Becker warns that even in these uninhabited
regions, human actions can have fatal
Read Elizabeth Avedon's review of Above Zero in photo-eye Magazine.