This Island Earth: Icelandic Nature in Contemporary Photographic Art - Video Interview of Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir

Around six thousands miles away from China, Iceland has always been considered as a mysterious and fairytale Nordic country for Asia people. Fortunately, this time at the 2018 Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP Festival), we warmly welcomed excellent curator and photographers' works from Iceland, enabling us to find how Nordic artists define Earth and explore a totally different perspective on nature, earth and landscape photography with artwork that tests our sense of reality.

Project Title: The Earth Island

Curator: Katrín Elvarsdóttir

Artists: Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir, Claudia Hausfeld, Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Stuart Richardson, Stuart Richardson

(Video interview of one of artists Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir)

Curator's Bio:

Katrín Elvarsdóttir is a photographic artist and curator living in Reykjavík Iceland. Elvarsdóttir received a BFA from The Art Institute of Boston, Massachusetts in 1993. She has held many solo exhibitions in Iceland and elsewhere; recent ones include The Search for Truth at BERG Contemporary, 2018, Double Happiness at Kopavogur Art Museum, 2016, Vanished Summer at Deborah Berke, New York 2014. Elvarsdóttir has been nominated for several awards including the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize in 2009 and received the EIKON (+45) Award in 2017. Her monographs Equivocal (2011), Vanished Summer (2013), and Double Happiness (2016) were published by Iceland's foremost art book publisher Crymogea. Now, Katrín Elvarsdóttir is working as an independent curator for various Museums and institutions and she is a founder and co-Director of The Icelandic Photography Festival.

Project's Introduction:

This Island Earth addresses Icelandic nature in contemporary photographic art. Since the beginning, landscape photography has been a leading force in the Icelandic photographic scene. In the past decade the movie industry has been showing Iceland's otherworldly landscape a growing interest, with an obvious tendency to use it as backdrop for sci-fi tales of space travel and alien planets. Perhaps no wonder, as NASA astronauts trained for their Moon buggy expeditions in the Icelandic lava fields. It may thus be no coincidence either that the title of the exhibition This Island Earth comes from an old Hollywood science fiction movie.

The works in the exhibition share that otherworldly atmosphere found in futuristic and fantasy movies. In the video series Undercurrent Stuart Richardson records the landscape of a narrow fjord in the East, the only light source being the narrow beam from a lighthouse that sweeps across the deserted ground. Kristín Sigurðardóttir has created multi-layered compositions in her new series G-3/ Quadrant Alpha 1, 30205. The uncharted acres of Mars provide a guideline for sculpted atmospheres that turn the familiar into the unfamiliar. Claudia Hausfeld studies holes and their opposites in her work Fores, working with the concept of foreignness. Her sense of isolation brought on by an unforgiving landscape surrounded by vast seas. Pétur Thomsen’s landscape photography shows us how time leaves its poetic mark on the world. In his Settlement series Thomsen presents the viewer with shadowy scenes where artificial light creates an ominous atmosphere on grounds altered by the human hand. Hallgerdur Hallgrimsdottir takes the viewer on a dramatic journey to an unknown place in a series of black and white images called Fissures.

Artists' Works:

(Photo by Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir)

(Photo by Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir)

> More pics of Hallgerður.

(Photo by Claudia Hausfeld)

(Photo by Kristín Sigurðardóttir)

(Photo by Kristín Sigurðardóttir)

> More pics of Kristín.

(Photo by Stuart Richardson)

(Photo by Pétur Thomsen)

>> More info:  Katrín Elvarsdóttir

       Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir

       Kristín Sigurðardóttir

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