Frontiers of Solitude: A project presentation
Recently the Frontiers of Solitude collaborative project between Školská Gallery in Prague (CZ), Atelier Nord in Oslo (NO), and Skaftfell - Center for Visual Art in Seyðisfjörður (IS) came to an end. From April 2015 to April 2016 Frontiers of Solitude has worked with 20 artists through a series of field expeditions, workshops, lectures, symposia, and exhibitions.
The project has focused on the effects of recent industrial human activity on the natural world. It invited its participants to observe and address
the ecological and socio-economic impacts of energy production and mining on specific landscapes in Czech Republic, Norway, and Iceland.
In the context of the project six artists from the three participating countries were invited to East Iceland in August 2015. Organized by Skaftfell, they undertook a 12-day expedition tracing the ecological and socio-economic effects of hydropower, in particular the systemic connections between Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric dam, Alcoa Fjarðaál in Reyðarfjörður, and the Héraðsflói estuary in East Iceland. Four more artists from Iceland took part in similar multinational expeditions, which led them to the industrial mining and oil refinery sites in northern Norway and to the open pit coal mines in Czech Republic.
The works shown in the Skaftfell gallery present a selection of artistic responses to these three expeditions. The Frontiers of Solitude project has been exhibited in its entirety at Skolska Gallery, Fotograf Gallery, and Ex-Post Gallery in Prague (CZ), co-curated by Dana Recmanová (CZ), Ivar Smedstad (NO), and Julia Martin (IS).
A selection of works has been shown at The Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava (CZ). Further presentations are planned at the Jan Evangelista Purknyné University in Ústi nad Labem (CZ), and at Atelier Nord in Oslo (NO).
The project is documented in a catalog which is available for viewing in the Skaftfell gallery. At Skaftfell,
the participating artists are: Finnur Arnar Arnarson (IS), Karlotta Blöndal (IS), Peter Cusack (UK/DE), Þórunn Eymundardóttir (IS), Iselin Linstad Hauge (NO), Monika Fryčová (CZ/IS), Elvar Már Kjartansson (IS), Alena Kotzmannová (CZ), Pavel Mrkus (CZ), Greg Pope (UK/NO), Kristín Rúnarsdóttir (IS), Ivar Smedstad (NO), Diana Winklerová (CZ), Martin Zet (CZ).
Project management by Julia Martin.
The project has been supported by an EEA grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Skaftfell Center for Visual Art, located in Seyðisfjörður, plays the essential role of presenting, discoursing and encouraging the development of contemporary art in eastern Iceland. It is a meeting point for artists and locals, and its activities are based on exhibitions and events, alongside an international residency program and outreach program.
Pavel Mrkus is a visual artist who makes use of digital moving images, sound and space. He graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. For several years, he taught at the University in Toyama in Japan. His work makes use of digital technologies in an attempt to intermediate between the spiritual traditions of western Europe and the East.
Finnur Arnar Arnarson: Ignorant and Happy
Finnur Arnar Arnarson works with video, text, and installation, finding his inspiration in familiar reality. Themes in his work include alienation from the environment, the objective and subjective experiences of time and space, and technology as an extension of human will and determination.
Elvar Már Kjartansson
Elvar Már Kjartansson is a sound craftsman and explorer. Under the name of Auxpan he creates musical experiences in which soundbites, rhythmic patterns produced by self-developed devices, and field recordings come together in an experimental and highly personal sound experience.
Þórunn Eymundardóttir: The Sky Over Libkovice
Þórunn Eymundardóttir works in various media, such as installations, performances, video and audio, sculpture and photography. The exploration of boundaries between the self and the other, and the elevation of everyday life are at the core of her practice.