For no word can be written without first having been seen, and before it finds its way to the page it must first have been part of the body, a physical presence that one has lived with in the same way one lives with one´s heart, one´s stomach, and one´s brain. Memory, then, not so much as the past contained within us, but as proof of our life in the present. If a man is to be truly present among his surroundings he must be thinking not of himself, but of what he sees. He must forget himself in order to be there.
Paul Auster, The Invention of Solitude (1982), London, Penguin Books
unosolo, the project room of 1/9unosunove, inaugurates its activities with a site-specific installation by Elín Hansdóttir (Reykjavík, 1980). On the occasion of her first solo exhibition in Italy, the Icelandic artist has worked with and on the space of the project room to use its peculiar architectural characteristics and create something that seems familiar but somehow brings with it the premises of an unexpected spacial experience. By altering what we would normally find upon entering a gallery space, she tries to ignite a shift of focus, from the outer situation onto the experience of the guest.
Elín Hansdóttir’s site-specific installations take many forms, including auditory or optical illusions, labyrinthian tunnels and motion-activated architectural elements. She creates self-contained worlds that seem to operate under their own set of rules, completely transforming a benign space into one that defies expectations and seems only to exist at a particular moment in time. Though her installations are complex in construction and technical craft, they take on a stark aesthetic, so that her work operates as a kind of blank slate for viewer experience and interaction.
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