Imported Landscape, AL3_9a, Kárahnjúkar, Iceland, 2003, Colour pigment print, Alu Dibond, 110 x 140 cm,
© the artist
Imported Landscape, AL3_9a, Kárahnjúkar, Iceland, 2003, Colour pigment print, Alu Dibond, 110 x 140 cm,
© the artist
Imported Landscape, AL12_23c, Kárahnjúkar, Iceland, 2006, Colour pigment print, Alu Dibond, 110 x 140 cm,
© the artist
Imported Landscape, AL12_23c, Kárahnjúkar, Iceland, 2006, Colour pigment print, Alu Dibond, 110 x 140 cm,
© the artist

Pétur ThomsenImported Landscape

 

In 2003 The National Power Company of Iceland started to build the 700 MW Kárahnjúkar Hydroelectric Project in eastern Iceland. The project consists of three dams, one of them being the highest in Europe, and a hydroelectric power plant. The dams block among others the large glacial river Jökulá á Dal, creating the 57 km2 artificial lake Hálslón. The power plant is primarily being constructed to supply electricity to a new aluminium smelter in the fjord of Reyðarfjörður on the east coast of Iceland. The artificial lake and the construction have spoiled the biggest area of untouched wilderness in Europe making the Kárahnjúkar project not only the largest in Icelandic history, but also the most controversial. Environmentalists are fighting for the preservation of the area, while those supporting the project talk about the need to use the energy the nature has to offer. The best way for me to participate in this debate was to follow the land in its transformation. Since the beginning of the project in 2003, I have been going regularly to the construction sites, taking landscape photographs, and documenting the contemporary landscape of Iceland.

Pétur Thomsen