Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir: Séstey / Hverfey
14 November, 2021–23 December, 2023
The exhibition Séstey / Hverfey presents new work by artist Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir, along with other artifacts she has placed in context with the permanent exhibition at Surtseyjarstofa in Vestmannaeyjar.
Þorgerður´s exhibition addresses the notion of how a new place becomes actual in a cultural sense. Works in the exhibition are mappings of a place based on natural processes and processes that we, humankind, have set in motion. For her exhibition Þorgerður examined drift matter from Surtsey and footprints encapsulated in tuff, among other things, in relation to artifacts, heritage and signifiers of the Anthropocene.
The exhibition Séstey / Hverfey is part of an ongoing project and artistic-research titled Island Fiction that Þorgerður has worked on during the past year in relation to Surtsey and will conclude with the publication of a new bookwork in 2023.
For her project, she applied for research permission to Surtsey and travelled with the geology expedition to the island during summer 2021. Some of the works in the exhibition are inspired by Þorgerður’s time and stay on the island.
Þorgerður is in collaboration with The Environmental Agency of Iceland to work further with drift matter and other seaborn debris that will be cleared from the island for the next few years.
The exhibition is produced in collaboration with The Environmental Agency of Iceland, which maintains a permanent exhibition about the formation and development of Surtsey since 2014 in Eldheimar, Vestmannaeyjar.
Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir (1985) is a visual artist based in Reykjavík, Iceland.In her practice she considers various objects and phenomena that are connected to our understanding of and relation to the natural world as it meets, overlaps, and is interpreted within human environments. Her work is centred around time, artifacts and different manifestations of the Anthropocene.
She is part of the research project Relics of Nature, an Archaeology of Natural Heritage in the High North, which aims to explore understandings and manifestations of natural heritage, with special focus on the High North and in the context of climate change.
Þorgerður graduated with a Master of Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art in 2013. Alongside her art practice Þorgerður has contributed to various exhibition projects and publications. From 2014 – 2018 she was the director of The Living Art Museum (NÝLÓ) in Reykjavík, artist-run museum founded in 1978 and in 2014 she initiated the biennial exhibition Staðir / Places together with artist Eva Ísleifsdóttir.
Participants and thanks to
The Environmental Agency of Iceland, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, The Surtsey Research Society, National Film Archive of Iceland, Icelandic Meteorological Office, FabLab Reykjavík & Eldheimar.
The Artist Salary Fund, The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association, The Visual Art Fund and The Environmental Agency of Iceland.