Jorge Losse’s Antarctica

  • Photography  Jorge Losse
  • Words  Anna Sanders

“Fifty days of travel, fifty days of blessings”

Mountainous ranges and man-made structures cut into a blue, oceanic sky. Snow and ice are eternally present yet never quite the same: chalk dusted sculptures, deserts of cracked ice, a cheery snowman built on deck.

In 2015, Jorge Losse visited Antarctica aboard the Almirante Oscar Viel icebreaker, a now decommissioned supply vessel. Accompanying the Chilean Navy on their regular survey missions, he spent fifty days documenting the isolated, ethereal landscape of La Bahía Margarita.

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Jorge Losse PYLOT
Inhabited only by scientists (and those in search of adventure) humanity’s relationship with this brutal, captivating place is one of discovery. Ice sheets frozen in time are the narrative to our existence, our future written in their stories of the past. The poetic nuances of this glacial landscape – tabular bergs under cirrus skies, brash ice that mars inky, salt-water reflections – take on an ethereal quality in Losse’s playful documentation.

The rich, other-worldly colours of his images are far removed from the bleakness we associate with the landscape, an intentional aesthetic on Losse’s part: “The choice of film was important, no doubt, each film has its own personality. I used Ektra 100, it has excellent grain and vivid colours, and also Portra 400 for its versatility.”

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Originally published in Ediciones Daga, an independent editorial house founded by Losse with Sebastian Rodriguez and Alejandro Matamala, his project is an ode to the far reaches of our earth, and those few that chose to explore them.

Daga, a fanzine produced by Losse from the same publishing house, follows a similar, explorative aesthetic. It looks to index local authors and artists in celebration of the local creativity of Santiago de Chile. It’s intended audience? “For those who smell paper and ink”: a motto redolent of first hand discovery – a longing to have the physical object in a digital world, and of travelling to the far corners of the earth to witness it yourself.

Maya Errázuriz, in her foreword for Causa Sui, Losse’s self-published book of his project in Antartica, succinctly captures his intrepid spirit, and that of his publications, when she remarks: “I admire those who can embark on an aimless journey to discover things, allowing oneself to get carried away by an instinct, a feeling. It is something I have never been able to do, but when looking at Jorge Losse’s photographs I am able to live that experience for just a moment.”

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Photography © Jorge Losse