Maroesjka Lavigne: Ísland reviewed in Photograph Magazine

In a photograph that recalls Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, a lone figure overlooks Iceland's Gullfoss waterfall. Unlike Friedrich's wanderer, who towers confidently over the scene beneath him, Belgian photographer Maroesjka Lavigne's subject is nearly indiscernible in the landscape, his black clothing almost completely blanketed in snow.

He's not the only person or man-made object made small by nature in Lavigne's series Ísland, on view at Robert Mann Gallery through May 17. A swimmer floating in a turquoise pool is rendered faceless by Lavigne's flash against the surface of the water. A red bus and a red roof are almost entirely veiled in white. Nature, if not humanity's superior, often seems at least its contemporary, a force with which to be reckoned.

But Lavigne's perspective is not so simplistic. Just as often, we are forced to consider humanity's influence on nature. In one photograph, a smattering of pink shrimp lie fetus-like across a clinically white kitchen sink. In another, taken at Reykjavik's Blue Lagoon, the tops of bodies are dots across the landscape, drifting in a cloud of steam rising from the water. Or is that haze from the industrial facility, just visible in the background, spewing clouds of smoke from a set of chimneys?

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