Skaftfell. Seyðisfjordur. Iceland
The exhibition explores objecthood in a multitude of ways. For the past year, the artists have been engaged in conversation in each others studios and in August 2017 participated in an exhibition in Bjarki’s project space, ca. 1715, run out of a Late-Baroque cabinet in his home. There they presented sketches and preparations for the exhibition, opening their process to an audience while mid way through making new bodies of work. The title of the exhibition points in different directions; in the Icelandic “Munur” refers to things, artifacts hinting to or demanding preservation yet simultaneously the word can signify difference, a comparison of variables while “The thing is” is the beginning of a conversation, explanation and a statement on the way of things, objects or conditions.
The current interest in objecthood today must in part stem from the current and unprecedented levels of consumption, production and circulation of goods and the fact that after the industrial revolution, humans for the first time managed to produce objects that supercede time and space. This is the collision of the human and geological time scales, which until recently had not intercepted. Something which takes moments to ignite may take dozens of thousands of years to vanish, indicating our value systems and cultural condition.
Eva Ísleifs practice employes humour in an oscillating between hope and despair, addressing important questions into how value is placed and produced. In the exhibition she shows a series of new works, one of which originates in a decades old drawing found inside a book in a flea market. In it an imagined traditional Icelandic turf farm is depicted, the cut out shape´s three windows have red nylon curtains glued on the back of the paper. The idea of home and how we remember what we remember, and forget that which we forget appears here as a bitter sweet relic of the contested building form of the turf house, built up over centuries of development, erased from the environment in a matter of decades in the twentieth century. The turf farm still roams around as a foggy memory in our minds, appearing here as a picture of how our imagination of the past becomes a work of fiction through time.
Text by Bjarki Bragason for the exhibition The thing is at Skaftfell Art Centre in the east of Iceland. 2017
Photograph by Claudia Hausfeld
The backdrop of the experience of viewing………
“Around here, where we live, is a circular notion, embracing and radiating from the specific place where generalisations about land, landscape, and nature come home to roost. “Out there” is a line of sight, the view, a metaphor for linear time.”
Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the local.
Exhibition The things is 2017 in Skaftfell Art Centre in Seiðisfjörður. Iceland. Curated by Bjarki Bragason.