panoramic photos by
Norwegian photographer Christian
Houge came across Barentsburg, a Russian coal-mining outpost in the far
north, by chance in 1983 during a snowmobile trip. He subsequently returned
several times to document this life seemingly untouched by time or the
In his panoramic photographs Houge captures the isolation and melancholy
of the community living in its preserved 70s style of design, and the
contrast between the epic white arctic landscape and the coal that is
extracted from it. The spectacularly bleak photographs measure two meters
More recently, Houge has spent four years photographing the Norwegian
island of Svalbard, located between Greenland and the North Pole.
Houge's Arctic Technology series explores man's search for knowledge in
a primal arctic landscape that is known as one of the cleanest places
on earth. Enormous technological structures enable scientists to study
climate change, sea levels, atmospheric pollution and space itself, and
represent man's search for meaning and communication.
Houge's large format panoramic photographs capture antenna fields used
to measure the earth's atmosphere and satellite receivers which send and
receive invisible information from space. Several were photographed in
pure moonlight using very long exposure times, becoming almost religious
monuments to man in the endless arctic landscape.
Christian Houge has had numerous exhibitions in his native Oslo. In 2004-05
he received two year-long grants from the Department of Culture and the
Norwegian Artists Fund.