Anna Líndal, June 5th 2013, 2013, chromogenic print on aluminum, 60 x 90 cm, courtesy of artist
The Life in the Land
BORDERS deals with complex social and political issues — matters related to nature’s and culture’s invasion of the private sphere of the home. It is portrayed in the installation as a loose arrangement of ordinary objects placed on shelves. Among these objects are four televisions and DVD players, potted plants, family photographs, embroidered tablecloths, knickknacks, and a light coffee cup filled with a tangle of blue twine. There is a homey, living room feel to this set of shelves with their television screens. One of these televisions plays a video of the volcanic eruption 1988 at Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier. Other screens show the Iceland Glaciological Society’s research expedition at Vatnajökull, a barefooted woman walking through the moorland, and a teenage girl reading tentatively from Njál’s Saga.
After deciding to exhibit BORDERS at the University of Richmond I realized it has been 15 years since the work was first shown in Iceland. I started to wonder if I was still dealing with the same issues 15 years later and if the answer is yes, how am I dealing with these issues today? In response to these thoughts I made three new photo series and reworked one piece from 2013 for the exhibition The Life of the Land, University of Richmond Museums.
June 5th is a continuation of the experiment I started when making the video shown in BORDERS, of the woman who explores the marshes through her own bodily experiences. Exploring ways to use my own body as a measuring device, similar to how surveyors of land use their tools, by collecting material from various locations, accumulated in the corner of one’s mind, constructing a whole interpretation, a knowledge map of sorts.
The photographic series Moving Knowledge is in dialogue with Njála (an Icelandic sagas). The works examine the patriarchal structures of society and culture, along with observing and analyzing the ways through which historical facts and traditions are constructed and normalized.
Natural Hazard is in dialogue with the video documentation of the volcanic eruption in Grimsvötn, Vatnajökull 1998. The images are from the lava flow in Holuhraun, caused by the eruption in Bárðarbunga caldera, also in Vatnajökull, starting in 2014. The photos are showing three different forms of documenting volcanic activity: with thermal image (University of Iceland, Hannah Reynolds), radar image from the Icelandic Coast Guard, and a screenshot from the desktop of my computer when I was watching an eruption webcam live on my computer at home.
Outriders is a photo series of instruments that have been put out in nature by humans, with the aim to register the life in the land. These photos are in dialog with the video documentation from the research expedition to Vatnajökull shown in BORDERS. The photos of the instruments, looking like outsider in the landscape, monitoring redundant changes in the geology, collecting important information for scientist to work from. These images most prominently reveal the relationship of the scientific observers and their object of research. In this way, the works offers an analytic gaze at the act of claiming a new context.
All my videos are documentary, shot on location; the editing and production is simply a rearrangement of unaltered sequences, an attempt to recreate my relationship with reality.
Anna Líndal studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and completed her postgraduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 1990. In 2012 she finished MA in Artistic Research from St Lucas, University College of Art & Design, Antwerp. Since 1990 she has been active in numerous solo and joint exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, she took part in the Istanbul Biennial in 1997, on life, beauty, translation and other difficulties, curated by Rosa Martinez. The Kwangju Biennial, Man + Space, South Korea in 2000, curated by René Block and the Reykjavik international Art Festival 2005 and 2008. Lindal’s last solo exhibition was at the ASI Art Museum Reykjavik in 2012 Mapping the impermanence. Anna Líndal was a Professor in Fine Art at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2000 – 2009.
Anna Líndal, detail from Borders, 2000, video and mixed media, courtesy of artist and Art & Public
Anna Líndal, Outriders, 2010-2014, chromogenic print on aluminum, 33 x 50 cm, courtesy of artist
Anna Líndal, Moving Knowledge, 2010, chromogenic print on aluminum, 33 x 50 cm, courtesy of artist
Anna Líndal, Natural Hazard, 2014, chromogenic print on aluminum, 37.5 x 50 cm, courtesy of artist