I explore layers of history and narrative through the use of the photographic object. An underlying feature in my work is disappearance and reappearance. In Camouflage (Hulinhjálmsteinn), I am exploring mimicry and camouflage as a way to disappear into a landscape which I am connected to through ancestry.
In June of 2016, I travelled to Iceland to create a series of photographs and video performances utilizing a rock camouflage cape as a means to blend into the Icelandic landscape. In each video, different degrees of concealment and disguise are explored. At times the struggle to control the cape highlights the impossibility of the endeavour, in other sequences I merge almost entirely and eventually disappear. The resulting photographs function as a relic of the action. My embodiment as a boulder is intended to reference a glacial erratic – a tangible remnant of geologic memory and time within the landscape.
The resultant videos and photographs within this body of work act as a documentation of a performance as I try to find different landscapes across the island where I could blend in. Additional landscape images from the Icelandic countryside emanate the sublime, the strange and beautiful, but in works like Two Rocks, also suggest a presence within. The studio shots created in Canada function as still life merging with performance to create an uncanny representation of scale.
In the fall of 2016 while visiting in the New Iceland Museum in Gimli, MB, I learned about the Hulinhjálmsteinn (invisibility stone). Folklore surrounding stones and rocks, including the Hulinhjálmsteinn are an integral part of traditional Icelandic culture. As a west Icelander thinking about place, integration and camouflage, the idea of the invisibility stone speaks to my attempts to disappear into the landscape. I am interested in the idea of being a far-flung rock that travels across continents, oceans and ancestry to reconnect to a specific landscape. This work represents a conceptual exploration of what it means to be from one place but have ties to another.