The Imperfect Atlas features images captured during Funch’s multiple trips to the Northern Cascade Mountain Range during the period of 2014-2016, mostly contemporary recreations of vintage Mt. Baker postcards he discovered during his research. Using these ephemera, maps, and satellite images, Funch was able to locate positions where the original postcard images were made, re-capturing the mountain’s glaciers from the same positions to create comparative juxtapositions of ‘then and now.’
Evocative of the 19th century imagery of the Hudson River School and ideals of Manifest Destiny, the Western mountain ranges appear picturesque, idealistic, and untamed through Funch’s lens. Funch uses this as an aesthetic point of departure, expanding the idea of re-photography through the use RGB tri-color separation, a technique invented also dating to the 19th century and the period of the Industrial Revolution. However the current glacial recession predates the use of color photography: the recession dates to 1850, while tri-color projection became the standard in the following decade. With this timeline in mind, we can say that Man’s photographic representation of glaciers has always included a state of decline. In a contemporary context, Funch’s use of RGB filters add a human influence where we would otherwise not clearly notice its affect on the landscape, inciting a dialogue on Man’s influence on nature, or as Funch describes, “our blindness to the consequences we are creating."
Peter Funch currently lives and works in Paris, France. He lived in New York for 13 years as a photographer. Funch graduated as a Photojournalist from the Danish School of Journalism in 1999. His still and motion work often combines storytelling with a perceptive social commentary in a cinematic visual language. He is working internationally with exhibitions, books, editorial and advertising clients alike, combining his technical perfection with a touch of Nordic calmness and dry humor.