In continuation of our series asking photographers to respond to a theme with an image and text, Patrick Waterhouse, Lua Ribeira, Aishwarya Arumbakkam, Mark Mahaney, Luis Alberto Rodriguez and Max Miechowski reflect on Magic
The writer, curator, lecturer, and founder of Self Publish, Be Happy picks out his top five of the year – including Shanghai-based studio Same Paper
“I’m not concerned with being an environmental photographer, I’m concerned with making images that make you feel something you can’t quite understand. There’s something that happens when you’re presented with what you can’t quite fathom.” In Matter, Michael Lundgren explores deserts in Spain, the US and Mexico but his landscapes are a departure from more traditional photographs in this field. He wants us to question the world around us and find a magical realism in life, death and our environment.
Two years ago, while attending a residency in northern Iceland, 32-year-old Catalan photographer Bego Antón came across an unusual course. “I stumbled across a website for the Icelandic Elf School,” she says. “I was amazed to find that you can actually graduate in elf issues. So I started investigating this hidden world.” So began The Earth is Only a Little Dust Under Our Feet, a project exploring Icelanders’ steadfast belief in magic. According to Antón, who was selected for last year’s Joop Swart Masterclass, 54 percent of people on the island believe in elves, trolls, fairies, monsters and ghosts. “The people here would never throw a stone in the air in case they hit an elf,” she says. “They are known to build roads with a deliberate kink to avoid bulldozing a rock where elves live. I wanted to find these magical beings and see them with my own eyes.” Antón met dozens of Icelandic people across the country who have “the gift” – the ability to see and communicate with these creatures. “Icelanders are really open and …