Fotograf Magazine

Frontiers of Solitude

Finnur Arnar Arnarson, Karlotta Blöndal, Gunhild Enger, Þórunn Eymundardóttir, Monika Fryčová, Tommy Høvik, Elvar Már Kjartansson, Alena Kotzmannová, Iselin Lindstad Hauge, Julia Martin, Vladimír Merta, Pavel Mrkus, Greg Pope, Kristín Rúnarsdóttir, Ivar Smedstad, Vladimír Turner, Robert Vlasák, Diana Winklerová, Martin Zet

5. 2. 2016 — 4. 3. 2016


The exhibition ‘Frontiers of Solitude’, held in Prague at the Školská 28, Fotograf and Ex Post galleries, was a part of the eponymous international art research project focused on how the landscape is transformed by human activities, particularly as a result of mining and the use of natural resources. The project included expeditions to the Czech Republic’s Most Coal Basin, across Iceland to the Kárahnjúkar Dam, and to the arctic landscape of the Finnmark region in the north of Norway. In addition to the artists, the expedition team included experts and activists who have a special interest in certain aspects of landscape-transformation processes.

The experience of a stay in a landscape that is disturbed or threatened was ultimately reflected in a diverse set of artefacts, including videos, sound installations, photographs, objects and space interventions. In some of the works the crucial importance of a personal encounter was imprinted in an abstract view of natural elements that cause all human traces to disappear. Others were based on a performative game using a place to which the artist introduced a certain element of unreality and fiction through his presence. Another important theme looked at the transformational forces that exceed the local perspective of a place but nevertheless help to shape it via a network of socioeconomic relationships.            

The strength in the artistic approach to ecology lies specifically in the ability to show the landscape outside of the context of professional thinking, to add asymmetrical elements. The exhibition and the associated two-day symposium have left open the question as to whether this type of vision may even exceed the boundaries of the gallery and the status of an artistic artefact.


Borjana Dodova