Altai Territory, Russia. 2000 by Jonas Bendiksen.
6″ x 6″ Magnum Square print
Fuji Crystal Archival Matte paper
Signed on verso by Jonas Bendiksen
Statement from Jonas Bendiksen on the back of “Altai Territory, Russia. 2000”
“I took this image almost exactly 20 years ago. Without knowing it, just seconds before, I had taken the image that would become my most published. That magic scene of thousands of butterflies, a stormy sky, a crashed Russian Soyuz space rocket and a pair of local scrap metal collectors gave my career wind in its sails, and gave me confidence in my vision. It also landed me in a lot of trouble – I was deportedfrom Russia soon after I had published this story, about the fallout from the Russian space launches. Being banned from Russia led me into my first book project, Satellites, which traced the borderlands of the former USSR – and the butterflies naturally became the cover.
There are only a couple of images of this exact scene: the one that has been shown all over the world, and this one, which is the next frame in the roll. In some ways the unseen one is the better composition. But it was ever so slightly back-focused, so it didn’t work at the larger sizes. At the square print size it looks perfect, though – so finally this version gets to see the light of day!”
Also, more Magnum Square Prints here.