Artist: Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir
Curated by: Alessandro Castiglioni, Rita Canarezza & Pier Paolo Coro
Venue: Listen to the Sirens, Gibraltar, UK
Date: February 28 – April 15, 2015
Photography: Images courtesy of the artist and Listen to the Sirens
Somewhere, even though we may not know where, there are places where people, but also the natural elements and things, meet. These encounters often take place in central locations, in city squares, under the spotlight of representation or self-representation. In particular conditions, however, these meetings become liminal, they move in lateral and peripheral spaces. Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir is concerned with these places and these encounters.
The Icelandic artist visited Gibraltar for the first time in 2012, for a field trip to discover the territory. Since that time, Hekla has returned insistently with her thoughts to a precise location noted from Europa Point, between the seas of the Strait of Gibraltar, the point where the waters of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean mingle. A place of invisible links. Following the evocations of the legendary tales of Jacque-Yves Cousteau, who said that he saw walls of water meeting and colliding with each other in the ocean depths, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir resignifies that particular point, because for the artist the landscape, the natural elements, acquire a metaphorical and narrative value. A landscape that often is often a residue, abandoned or forgotten. Or, even more often a hybrid form. This landscape is that of Margins, that threshold where two worlds touch.
It is on this idea of the margin and this hybrid territory that the exhibition builds, with the central work being a superimposed reprise of that precise point where the waters of the sea, different by currents and temperature, mingle. The artist then enriches this image by consulting a conceptual map, dense with references: here we find the boundary that separates Gibraltar from La Linea de la Concepcion (another name of a margin, by the way), the transition between different months (the exhibition opens on February 28, the day that once every four years is prolonged to arrive at 29) but also between years (in antiquity February was the last month of the year) and between days (a small performance will be held on the night of the inauguration between 28 February and 1 March 2015).
Like the Third Landscape by Gilles Clements and reversing non-places by Marc Augé, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir gives meaning to what remains, transforming a place of dereliction or stereotype into the possibility of building a meaning.
Then, as the artist recalls, at these points some things may happen, or nothing may happen
Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir is an Icelandic artist. She studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. In 1998 she received a Fellowship to attend Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Maine, US. Since 1999 Hekla has exhibited her works actively both nationally and internationally in Iceland, Canda, U.K., U.S.A, Italy Hekla is one of the founders of “Kling & Bang gallery” and has taken on the role of a curator for several exhibitions. Hekla has been a professor at the Iceland Art Academy of the Arts since 2012.