In August 1992 Robert Frank’s good friend Reginald Rankin invited Frank on a trip to Pangnirtung, a village of around 1,300 Inuit inhabitants in the Arctic Circle. This book is Frank’s documentation of the five-day sojourn. Curiously Frank depicts Pangnirtung void of its people: the still harbour, public housing, a convenience store, a telephone post. Sincere without being sentimental, the photos are shaped by a short text from Frank himself, “Prefabricated homes along the main road in Pangnirtung. At times a decorated window – reflections inside or outside. Stones – maybe the balance of a big sky above…”.
Robert Frank was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1924 and went to the United States in 1947. He is best known for his seminal book The Americans, first published in 1959, which gave rise to a distinct new art form in the photo-book, and his experimental film Pull My Daisy, made in 1959. His other important projects include the book Black White and Things (1954) the book Lines of My Hand (1972) and the film Cocksucker Blues (1972). Frank’s work has been the subject of major exhibitions around the world and is included in many significant public and private collections. He divides his time between New York City and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Pangnirtung by Robert Frank
Steidl, 2010, $32.00