Æsa Saga Otrsdóttir Árdal


A puppeteer told me that the most important aspect of his work is to find a way to breathe life into a dead object. I realised that this is also a core of my artistic practice as I seek to incorporate symbols of life like movement or other means of transformation in my work.

There is a certain material that awakens something within me. It becomes alive as I mirror myself in it. The material is nylon panty hose with a palette designed for the human body, giving an illusion of the colours of skin. By filling it with soft wool and cotton and by bending, stretching and folding it, features like wrinkles and creases appear, referencing traits of the human physique. I find it interesting to work with symbols of female beauty, and often twist and deform them to the verge of being grotesque in order to unveil the absurdness of it all. In addition to the panty hose I often include objects that are used as extensions of our bodies like glasses, nail polish or hair extensions. When taken from their original purpose I find that these objects acquire a layer of strangeness and eeriness. This is connected to the concept of ”the uncanny” which is an important component of my art practice and approach. It is experienced as a physical sensation related to déjà vu and has been used in studies regarding people’s strong reactions towards humanlike phenomena such as robots and wax figures. An ”uncanny” feeling can be provoked when we identify with an object to such an extent that it seems to become alive and invite us to interact with it. I believe that through careful contemplation of these kind of visual presentations the art object could help us come in contact with hidden memories and lost emotions.