Kristleifur Bj˘rnsson - Slopes
Stalke Up North is delighted to announce the opening of this solo show with Icelandic artist Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson, who in 2008 participated at the Street and Studio exhibition at Tate Modern in London. Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson lives and works in Berlin.
For almost ten years, Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson took photographs in the mountainous North-East of Iceland. However, the pictures resulting from this long period do not explore the diversity of geological formations, they do not transform nature in a piece of virgin wilderness as one might expect, rather, his focus is concentrated on a certain detail, a particular tectonic situation of the mountains: The images (simply) depict slopes.
Some times taken from a slightly elevated viewpoint, the slopes are represented in a subdued and misty light. There is no drama in these images, they are neither illuminated by the sun, nor dramatically silhouetted against the sky. Kristleifur Bj÷rnssons photographs do not give account of the lonesome wanderer's heroic appropriation of nature, they are rather structuered by a non-hierachic conception of the countryside.
The character of these photographs are not the slowly ascending view to a dominant summit, but a very precise, plane depiction of a piece of landscape. The slopes' gently ascend into the diagonale of the real space, is transformed into rhythmical movements through the flatness in Kristleifur Bj÷rnssons images. Grass-covered areas alternate with stone fields and creeks cut through the image. In so doing Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson is taking the landscape out of the landscape!
The fragmented character convey a very photographic quality to these images, but at the same time, the reduced interplay of limited colours and the tachist all-over structure gives them a modern pictorial note.
The excursions into the mountains, that Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson continously made for many years, generated the serial character of these images, ever new variations of the picture plane's flatness. But this path also has personal and meditative aspects, even though Kristleifur Bj÷rnsson is not a representative of land art, in which the process is often the actual work of art. He rather looked for images that he already had in his mind and that he could only find there. It is the search for a certain quality of form that comes from the experience of one's origins.
We hope to see you at the opening night on Friday 20 February from 5-8 pm at Stalke Up North in Gothersgade 5 in Copenhagen.
We should like to thank Hotel Guldsmeden in Copenhagen for their generous sponsorship.