Image: Elín Hansdóttir, FIVE LEAF CLOVER, 2022, Gold plated trifolium repens, Courtesy the artist
ELÍN HANSDOTTIR (b.1980) is a multidisciplinary artist working at the intersections of installation, sculpture, and photography. Her work explores the phenomenology of experiential perception, spatial emptiness and conceptual openness while foregrounding peripheral, relational, and embodied aspects of the artistic encounter.
HANSDÓTTIR’s immersive, site-specific installations leverage sensory limitations, spatial reconfiguration, distortions of scale, and optical illusions that alter the viewers’ perceptions of space. By thrusting the viewers into liminal uncertainty about what they are perceiving and why it feels subtly different, Hansdóttir draws out the viewers’ reflexive awareness of their own presence within the aesthetic encounter.
The installation Eigenzeit comprises semi-transparent fabric hanging from seven intersecting curved rails. Each piece of fabric is printed with custom geometric patterns, which are typically printed on identity documents and currency to prevent forgery. HANSDÒTTIR integrates photographs of scale models of the installation, which are interspersed throughout the piece, along with gold-plated clover leaves. Like HANSDÓTTIR’s earlier work, the installation plays with distortions of scale and visual deconstruction. Leveraging these processes, HANSDÓTTIR defamiliarizes the common imagery of value, legitimacy, authenticity and engineered scarcity to heighten the viewers’ awareness of their own presence in the gallery space as they navigate through the installation.
HANSDÓTTIR’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, Martha Herford, Frieze Projects, The Marrakech Biennale, The Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery of Iceland. In 2016 she was awarded the Optimism Award for Culture, the patron of which is the President of Iceland, as well as the Gudmunda S.Kristinsdottir Art Prize, founded by artist Erró.
Photo: David Brandt