Robert Zhao Renhui
Expedition #46 is a work from the series “The Glacier Study Group,” which consists of artists, scientists, activists, and enthusiasts of glacial and polar activity in the Artic Circle to conduct scientific investigation, data collection, and glacier sampling. Recent media attention on global warming and climate change has driven interest in increased glacial activity. The group spends long period of each year in the harsh Arctic environment to acquire in-depth knowledge of these changes while experiencing the landscape firsthand. Expedition #46 presents voyeuristic images of human activity in expansive surreal glacial landscapes to elicit a sense of discovery in the viewer, who travels by-proxy via Zhao’s photographic series. The viewer is able to observe the Study Group’s journey in observing their environment and engage in critical reflection of the varying documentary spectatorship deployed in the visual discourse of environmentalism and scientific research.