The exhibition Parallel Dimensions I/II, an exploration of time, space and perception, opened yesterday at the Felleshus of the Nordic Embassies in Berlin. The exhibition focuses on artists from Iceland who push and transcend the boundaries of art, technology and science.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, technology, programming and new media have found their way into artistic works. Science and technological progress have long been part of the work and environment of artists who engage with it in different ways. Through rationalism, science and new aesthetics, modern technology in art challenges our perception and understanding of the world we live in and develops a new vision. The themes addressed by the artists in this exhibition are diverse, but all seek to illuminate other worlds and dimensions or to pose new questions.
“Our future is determined by the ability to innovate. It is often the artists who recognise change and become the voice of the new. They are admonishers, pioneers and visionaries. They push boundaries and ask new questions. Just like the Icelandic artists in the exhibition Parallel Dimensions.”María Erla Marelsdótti, Ambassador
The video installation Uncontainable Truth (2021) by María Dalberg examines the fate of five unmarried Icelandic women who lived in the 16th to 19th centuries and were considered defendants in the sense of Dulsmál. These women performed hard labour and mostly lived in involuntary celibacy. Dulsmál were criminal cases in which a woman concealed her pregnancy and the birth of her child and allowed the newborn to die through negligence or abandonment in the wild. Dalberg works with embodied history to make the lost voices of women audible.
Artist María Dalberg comments: “The film Uncontainable Truth is about the intersection of music and language. I write and perform sound poetry, and in the film I also focus on repetitive and rhythmic body movements. The film explores the fate of Icelandic women workers from the 16th to 19th centuries who belonged to subaltern classes of illiterate and landless people tied to the land. The film is based on 5 testimonies of female defendants and aims to give them back their voices that were consistently denied to them. The film brings their names to light through spoken stories recorded in old manuscripts and other contemporary sources.”
FIGURES IN LANDSCAPE
Figures in white lab coats roam a man-made landscape, pause and kill time. They appear to us as representatives of logic, science and human progress. In Figures in Landscape, Ragnar Kjartansson celebrates the humanistic spirit as a child of its time, with a touch of irony and making full use of the technological progress that makes this enormous video work possible. The work consists of seven different scenes, each 24 hours long. Thus, one needs a whole week to watch the complete work.
Ragnar Kjartansson explains further: “There is no narrative, nothing happens, just the movement of people in white lab coats walking around in the landscape. Figures in Landscape is an homage to heroic murals of science and prosperity with a modern, nihilistic twist.”
Hrafnkell Sigurðsson explains his work thus: “The starting point of this work was an extremely vague idea, rather a feeling, inscrutable, dark and deep. This vague idea had to do with an empty surface, a kind of pressure. What was hiding in the depths of this emptiness? I decided to enlarge a part or a pixel of a photograph of the sky. It was easy to take this further and I enlarged part of a photograph taken with the Hubble telescope in the depths of space, a well-known photograph of galaxies as they looked a few million years ago. An ancient light, the light behind the colours and patterns. I picked up where the Hubble Space Telescope left off. In photographs taken as far to the edge of space as possible, I selected pixels from the dark areas between the galaxies visible in the image and improvised a continuation of the image information contained in the data.”
The exhibition is curated by Ásdís Spanó. She sees the expanded possibilities for artistic work and for exploring creative space primarily in the development of technology. “A common thread among the works shown is experimentation with time, space, perception and material, as well as a cross-disciplinary approach and an understanding of structures and systems that belong to distant domains.”
Thursday, 10 February (opening day) – Sunday, 27 March 2022
Mon to Fri 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sun + Holidays 11:00 a. m. – 4:00 p. m.
Felleshus – Nordische Botschaften in Berlin, Rauchstraße 1, 10787 Berlin-Tiergarten
Admission free and without registration
For the exhibition at Felleshus the 2G rule applies
Guided tours through the exhibition
15 February – 25 March 2022: Tuesdays and Fridays, each 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and Saturday, 19 February 2022, 1 p.m.
Admission free, registration via Eventbrite
In March, there will also be an accompanying film programme.