BLIND SPOT

Reykjavík City Library

The group exhibition Blind spot opens on March 13th in conjunction with the European Action Week Against Racism. Blindspot curated by Daría Sól Andrews (IS), is a exhibition series in which the artists´ work will be experienced at various library locations. It presents film, photography, and installation work by Salad Hilowle (SE), Nayab Ikram (FI), Hugo Llanes (IS) and Claire Paugam (IS).


The works in this exhibition explore a personal angle on racism and exclusion within a European and Scandinavian context. The artists in this exhibition offer a unique perspective on their lived experiences as well as a place of confrontation, a potential to shift our viewpoints. Microaggressions, cultural exclusion, gender inequality, and systemic racism are conversations that are uncomfortable, avoided, overlooked; we place these confronting realities in a personal blindspot. And yet, the simple fact is that systemic racism and gender biases are all too present in our institutions, in our everyday relations, and in our implicit, unconscious gestures. This exhibition and the European Action Week Against Racism is therefore an opportunity for us as a community to come together and acknowledge the spaces in which we need to represent and protect our minority groups. How can our institutions begin to combat their built in privileges and racisms and take actual steps towards accountability? Anti-racist policies and active acknowledgement of implicit biases within gender and race are the first necessary step.

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NORÐRIÐ / NORTH

Listasafn Árnesinga, Hveragerði

In the wake of global warming and excelling ecological changes, will our environments of today become a mere fleeting impression? The human imprint is permanently changing landscapes, savagely and irreversibly morphing our natural environments, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Arctic. From the retreat of glaciers to the most rapid rise in temperatures anywhere in the world, the countries bordering the Arctic are experiencing especially radical shifts.


Nordic landscapes are being devastatingly altered by an unconcerned, self-absorbed human footprint. Once heralded for the unique beauty of its natural environments, the landscapes of the North are transforming at a rapid rate from the harsh effects of climate change. In response to these freshly emerging and turbulently changing landscapes, many artists are finding themselves compelled to focus on the fragility of nature and manifesting this perspective in their practices. New landscapes are being revealed already that have never been seen by the human eye, while others are inundated for an unforeseen future.

Norðrið focuses in on the Northern countries and their adapting environments, exploring the ways in which changes in nature are influencing and informing artists ́ expressions and ideas, through a lens of climate change here in a Scandinavian climate specifically. In order to make sense of these rapid shifts in the northern landscape, the selected artists affirm instability and change as a necessary part of nature. As the effects of climate change in the North bring with it an uncertainty towards the future of our known landscapes, these six artists reimagine the place and the function of the human, using their artistic practices to come to terms with change and reinvention within nature.

Arngunnur ÝrErna SkúladóttirUlrika SparrePétur ThomsenIngibjörg Friðriksdóttir, and Nestori Syrjala present a blend of expressions, ranging from critical documentation to poetic invocations. How can we reconnect back to the non-human and communicate in relation to nature, connect back to the landscapes and environments that the invasive human is ripping apart, and explore a nature that is not simply ‘other than man’? We take nature, the mountain to be the constant, unchanging, solid – a consistent marker of our environment in memory, but these works acknowledge the reality of its fleeting nature. The result becomes a thing of beauty, fragile, yet strong, and a way to rise anew. They offer a unique concept of landscape, land art, and environmentalism, suggesting new creations and fantastical environments, whilst simultaneously acknowledging the dissolve of our present ones. These artists gently draw us back to nature, dirt, land, earth, the elements, allowing us to focus on its beauty rather than the overweighting anthropocentrism. They remove the human and bring us back to our earthly roots by unapologetically bringing us face to face with the harsh reality of the state of nature.

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LATENT SHADOW, PT. II

Harbinger gallery, Reykjavík

The second installment of the exhibition and project series Latent Shadow, curated by Claudia Hausfeld and Daría Sól Andrews, presented in Harbinger throughout 2020,  opens next Saturday on October 17th. This installment presents a group exhibition with works by Berglind Hreiðarsdóttir, Anne Rombach, Elín Hansdóttir  and Chelsey Honders. The four artists present a range of photographic  works that explore the manipulation of surfaces and structure, the distortion of context, spaces of transition, the complication of comprehension and the literary meaning of images.

Anne Rombachs work is a curious investigation into the interface between image and language. For her work "titill {k} - Titel {m}", she uses an online dictionary to meander from a German word, its Icelandic translation and the example sentences that are given towards an image that she retrieves from her archive, or vice versa. The pairing of found and translated phrases with her photographs is a wide open playground. Sometimes the words reach into the fictional past or the future of the photograph, sometimes the words can pin the image to some kind of absolute visibility. Her combinations of words and images challenge the way we look at photographs and open for the many different truths they have to offer.

Chelsey Honder's piece “Future Fossil” is part of a larger investigation into the impact of plastic on our environment. In her graduation installation from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague this year, Chelsey was presenting speculative objects and prints that deal with the emergence of plastic-stone hybrids, or plastiglomerate, in nature.


Elín Hansdóttir presents “PORTAL”, a series of photographs of the same model  in different scales. The model’s structure presents a hallway leading in different directions, a transitory space leading somewhere, else. The patterned wallpaper is by William Morris, who traveled to Iceland around 1871, adds to the confusing effect of manipulation of structure and size. In this visual distortion, where visual cues of shrinking and expanding spaces are barely discerned. 


Berglind Hreiðarsdóttir's work “Can they sense I’m here” highlights acts of manipulation in the creation of a photograph, which is reverbated in its subject. Berglind pairs an image with a verb, an image of plants, which are isolated and still, an ideal form for capturing the filtering effects of light.




In conjunction with the exhibition, an online screening of works byEmmanuel  Lefrant and Aliki Braine will be accessible digitally from October 22 - October 29. 

 
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SILENT SPRING

Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður

In Silent Spring, Lilja Birgisdóttir, Hertta Kiiski, and Katrín Elvarsdóttir invoke a tender, coaching warmth towards environments neglected and at the brink of loss. By focusing in on the beauty in the found, in the renewed, they hope to awaken an urgent appreciation for the delicate state our deteriorating world is in. Working in the face of climate change, these three artists employ the photographic medium and a sculptural, sensory focus to environments which call for a nurturing attention. 

Lilja, Hertta, and Katrín work in collaboration and yet singularly, their thought-processes distinct yet subtly intertwined. Using elements of smell, sound, and physicality, the exhibition space is experienced in a fully sensory fashion, connecting us to our natural environment, colorful and alive. These three artists awaken an attention to the implications of our wasteful practices. We are offered a space to recharge, reconnect, and actively contemplate potentials for change within all aspects of our own waste production. Through these elements, Silent Spring inspires a refreshed joy in that which is already, in the foundness of things, in the environments we have, and the beauty therein. 


The exhibition is a part of the programme of The Icelandic Photo Festival.