Daniel Blom - The Keeper Series
Daniel Blom - THE KEEPER
Archival Inkjet Print - Signed
100cm x 133cm
Edition of 10
When I left on my trip to Pyramiden I just assumed my questions and curiosity about this place and its history would be satisfied. This was not the case. Everyone I met on the trip had their own little story about the abruptly abandoned settlement, and every little rumour and anecdote just added more fuel to my fire.
Upon arriving in Pyramiden my guide and I met up with the groundskeeper, Sasha. Before I even had a chance to ask him any questions––like why he took this job and how long he´d been there––he informed us that he had spotted a polar bear on the far end of town. He rushed off to go scare the bear away, leaving us alone to explore the houses.
Walking around the town and houses was like going back in time to the 1950s. What struck me the most was the sense that people just dropped what they were doing and left. Although Pyramiden is not shy of ghost stories (like the one about people still picking up radio signals from the town after it was deserted), I never really got a creepy feeling. However, since there was a polar bear on the loose, we kept our eyes peeled. The bear eventually turned up outside the house where we slept and spent the night 10m from our doorstep.
The bear stayed in and around Pyramiden for the duration of our visit and therefor Sasha never had much time for us, nor did he give us any clear answers to our questions, apart from telling us how he maybe wanted to go back home to Russia in the fall, although he wasn’t really sure.
It was obvious the miners had a hard job, but the photos and community areas that people lived in also showed a pretty rich life up there. It was impossible not to imagine what it would be like to live with your family and friends in this remote and self-sustainable community.
Thinking back, I can’t help but draw parallels to our own existence on this planet. Perhaps it’s a bit far fetched, but will someone someday walk our streets, photograph our houses, and look through our belongings thinking about how nice it must have been before it all ended?