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Witness: Stuart Klipper

Jan 25, 2019 to Mar 17, 2019

Stuart Klipper is an internationally known fine art photographer based in Minneapolis. He has spent decades traveling the planet capturing photographs that crystallize the defining characteristics of many countries and regions including the Sinai, Central and South America, Svalbard, Sri Lanka and Alaska. He has also worked frequently in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland and other areas of the Nordic region.

Following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, Klipper returned to an area of northern Sweden that he had previously fallen in love with – the Sápmi region, the indigenous homeland of the Sami people - which had been impacted by radiation. The moss and lichens had absorbed the isotopes, and were in turn eaten by the reindeer. Thousands of these animals, which are an essential staple of Sami culture, food and economy, had to be destroyed. Klipper found and photographed these haunted landscapes, making the invisible damage, visible through his images. 

Klipper commented, " could not see anything different about the hundreds of places I stopped to look at and photograph. I traveled with the radiation distribution maps produced by the Swedish and Norwegian governments. Each time I made a photo, I noted the kBqs detected there after the isotopes were deposited. Those numbers were indexed on every print. I felt that was a way to indicate that things were not the same, were not as they seemed."

The images were created with support from the McKnight Foundation and were originally exhibited at the Minnesota Museum of American Art.

More Information


Stuart Klipper at the ASI Artist Reception
Stuart Klipper at the ASI Artist Reception

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Minnesota artist activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

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