This book is Gentaro Ishizuka’s documentation of the melancholy remnants of Alaska’s gold rush of the late nineteenth century. The discovery of gold in the Alaskan wilderness attracted hoards of fossickers and industrialists, each hoping to strike it rich. Yet the subsequent reality was that the rush was unprofitable for most except the lucky (and ruthless) few; in time most diggers moved on to pursue new dreams and nature remained violated by their efforts. Ishizuka’s photos of rusted shovels and machinery, dilapidated log huts dwarfed by the landscape, and eerie interiors and still lifes show the ghosts of human activity and how nature is slowly reclaiming her territory.
‘This body of work symbolizes how man’s efforts to conquer nature only survive as an image of history in the best of Romantic traditions.’ -Frits Gierstberg, curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum