A frozen weather station 800 miles from the North Pole held his father's secrets
When he was 19, aAron Munson's father spent a bleak year working at the station — so the artist went there
Alberta cinematographer and multimedia artist aAron Munson once read his father's diary from when he was 19 years old. In it was an entry from a year spent at a weather station near the North Pole. The words his father had written communicated bleakness, depression, even thoughts of suicide. So he decided to take a trip to the decommissioned station, called Isachsen, to find out what that year was like.
"You'd just walk out and it would almost blow you right over," Munson says of being confronted by the snow and wind. "Even being up there for a week, you could really start to empathize with what that experience was like."
Isachsen, the artist's new exhibition, tries to bring the feeling of being at the weather station to its viewers. Using photography, sound, video, installation and collaborations with artists David Hoffos, Dara Humniski and Gary James Joynes, the gallery space is transformed into a site that tells a story of solitude, loneliness and a strange kind of beauty. While acknowledging how dark the subject matter is, the artist confides: "It's about presenting work that demonstrates that it's OK to be vulnerable."
On Munson's trip, he left only footprints behind. What Isachsen left with him, though, was an understanding of what even a small amount of time in isolation can do to the human mind.
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