Elín Hansdóttir

Wooden walls, mirrors, 16mm projection, sound system, archival inkjet prints.

“ is not, what you see, but how you see it, that counts”, wrote Loïe Fuller in her notebook. The same can be said about Elín Hansdóttir’s Trace. Hansdóttir not only alludes to Fuller’s ideas, but equally to the Lumière brothers movie clip of her Serpentine dance, in her own research on how energy disperses movement in time and space. Hansdóttir has divided the exhibition space with a liporello wall. In the bright front she exhibits on the one hand colour photographs which reveal a certain motion in time (just under one second), and on the other black and white stills of discrete moments (a few fractions of a second). What the images have in common is how they reveal the eternal flux of a metamorphosing form, which otherwise (without the motions of the body) would simply remain static. Mirrors on the liporello wall, just like a film, divide the viewers movements into separate and distinct moments, as they walk past. In front of the wall a machine projects a 16mm film which Hansdóttir filmed at a Lichtspielhaus (or “light theater”) in Berlin, one of the earliest movie theatres in Europe. The film is projected through the wall, by means of two mirrors that transport the image from the front to the rear space and create a reference to the subject’s journey in the process of filming, when the viewer is allowed to see in one place that which has happened in another. The film is the starting point of Hansdóttir’s investigation, since the accompanying sound, the wall and the photographs are either part of the process or its aftermath. In actual fact, it is the traces themselves which the process as a whole has left behind in time and space, which is of prime importance, whether it be from a body, machine or light source.

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