My work investigates concepts of time, gravity, weight, and weightlessness in connection to landscapes and places we occupy and inhabit. Having lived in Iceland for two years now, my interest in the different layers of time have become crucial to my work. Time can be constructed in our mind or come together in the perception of a lava rock for instance. In this extended time frame, the day-to-day perspective on things changes and it is out of this experience that my project evolved. My work in this exhibition is mainly embodied through hands-on photographic methods in the darkroom – a process where abstraction arrives in matter.
In recent on-going fieldwork, I have investigated the relationship between the chemical fundamentals of photography and the unique chemical geology of Iceland by making photograms directly in particular settings in the Icelandic landscape. By tracing and visualising chemical reactions between, light sensitive photographic paper and sulphur steam, minerals, or heat from a volcano, a reaction occurs between the different chemicals in the paper and in nature. The chemical processes in nature are transferred to the chemical surface of the photographic paper. In the work there is no representation of the place in a classical sense but instead an imprint of it, through traces and residue of events in Icelandic nature.
The project entitled Lava is composed of images derived from petrographic slides of lava rock from different locations in Iceland. The petrographic slides were inserted into an enlarger in the darkroom in the way you normally use a negative. They put into focus the difference between living and non-living forms, between biological and geological time. The project revolves around Icelandic lava and how one can expand the perception of time by looking at its on-going processes. Normally, we think of rock as dead material, but on a microscopic level it is actually in constant growth, animated by invisible chemical processes. The formation of lava rock is an active process from the outset that continues to develop throughout its life cycle.
Lava visualises what is not visible to the naked eye. Looking at lava rocks through a microscope exposes a clear structure with many gas holes that reveal the chemical processes by which the rocks were shaped. These gas holes will eventually be filled with encrustations that will smooth the surface of the rock. The circular shape of the images is primarily due to a practical choice for viewing the slides under a microscope. But this shape also addresses questions of the interpretation of the images. They might bring about thoughts of the life of a rock as part of the complex constructing and developing processes of our planet within our solar system.