Elín Hansdóttir | Solo exhibition at KW in Berlin
SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF
Opening: Saturday, 14.03.15, 17–22 h
For SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, artist Elín Hansdóttir produces a site-specific work, which forges a link between the architectural characteristics of the former margarine factory in a room- and a film installation.
The first floor becomes a walk-in sculpture, and simultaneously the setting for an experimental film. The film has been shot, edited and soundtracked in the space before the show opens, and premieres on the floor above together with the installation at the exhibition’s opening. While Hansdóttir focuses in her installation on the space and its architecture by using objects and various surfaces, she superimposes in her film various temporal layers in the same room with the aid of early cinematic illusion techniques such as glass painting and the so-called Schüfftan process, thus forming a sculpture that interweaves the past and present, two and three-dimensionality, and movement. In collaboration with the choreographer Margrét Bjarnadóttir, the composer Úlfur Hansson and the filmmaker and cameraman Frerk Lintz, Hansdóttir develops a filmic experiment whose script, sound, camera, and movement are derived directly from the spatial circumstances of the space. The video presents alternative spatial possibilities of perception in the cross-cutting area between three-dimensional and filmic media.
The term “suspension of disbelief” was coined at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the philosopher and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It refers to the conscious willingness of the recipient to engage with – to “believe in” – an artistic fiction, so as to derive greater pleasure from it. Hansdóttir is particularly interested in the illusion techniques used in early cinema, where – in contrast to the deceptively realistic special effects in current movies – the discrepancy between the “real” image and the created fiction is so conspicuous but still accepted by the viewers.
Elín Hansdóttir places the viewers in the spotlight of her cross-genre installations. Employing acoustic and optic effects as well as architectural elements, her works explore the potentials and limitations of spatial experience. Over the past years, her artistic practice has shifted from sculptural concepts to dynamic spatial arrangements, which incorporate sound and light, but also address the changes in the viewers’ perception through their own movements as essential elements. SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is the first work by Hansdóttir in which the filmic experiment plays a key role.
SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is Elín Hansdóttir’s first institutional solo exhibition. Born in 1980 in Reykjavík, her works have been shown at the Marrakech Biennale 4 HIGHER ATLAS (2012, Marrakech, MA), in the exhibitions LONG ARE THE DAYS, SHORT ARE THE NIGHTS (2011, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA, US), TRACE (2010, i8 Gallery, Reykjavík), PARALLAX (2009, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavík), BETWEEN TWO DEATHS (2007, ZKM, Karlsruhe, DE), and in the framework of FRIEZE PROJECTS (2007, Frieze Art Fair, London).
Her concern with space and its experience is also reflected in her work for the performing arts. Hansdóttir has developed stage sets for the production of Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s play SVARTUR HUNDUR PRESTSINS at the National Theatre of Iceland (2011, Reykjavík) and for the dance piece ON MISUNDERSTANDINGS by choreographer Margrét Bjarnadóttir (including costumes; 2010, K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie / Tanzplan Hamburg, DE). In 2010 she received a one-year grant for working at Ólafur Elíasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente (Universität der Künste, Berlin). Elín Hansdóttir lives and works in Berlin and Reykjavík.
SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is funded by Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg.
With additional support from the Icelandic Visual Arts Fund, the Icelandic Art Center, the Embassy of Iceland, and the Muggur Travel Grant.
The cultural programs of KW Institute for Contemporary Art are made possible with the support of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.