Visions of an Arctic Utopia

One arrives to a small town in the utmost North, a town that has lost its entire population. One is met by a surprising, subjective vision. The abandoned coal-mining community beneath the mysterious, pyramid-shaped mountain appears not as a depressing, man-made scar on the Arctic landscape, but as a formerly harmonious commonwealth where quantity had given way to quality, and where competitive hierarchies had been abolished in favor of equality. It is as if the town’s remote location had not been a source of misery, but instead had made it a self-sufficient community, in both form and content.

Here, money was deprived of all meaning and had consequently been abandoned altogether as a medium of transaction. In the visitor’s dream-soaked mind, the town had once qualified as a utopia in many respects, not least for having failed to exist.

In looking for something nonexistent, it is the searching and the dreaming that matter.

This collection of photographs is a ballad to all ways of life, and is dedicated to dreams.

—Ville Lenkkeri

Editor's Note: This project was published as a book in 2009 by Hatje Cantz. It is also currently being exhibited from February 8 to June 8, 2014 at the Musee de la Photographie Andre Villers in Mougin, France.

The Place of No Roads by Ville Lenkkeri
Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Hardcover: 144 pages