Gefið (Það kemur ljós)

Given (It will come to light)

2016

Installation for Gallerí Skilti, Reykjavík

 

In addition to taking photographs, I am also interested in working with "found" photographs, such as this one I photographed from a Swedish interior design book, Hem Inredning (Stockholm, 1947). This is the full image, greatly enlarged so that the half-tone pattern of the printing becomes a dominant element, like a Roy Lichtenstein painting from the 1960s. The silver background is also a Pop Art reference, to both Michelangelo Pistoletto and Andy Warhol. The original is a strange image, meant to illustrate a reading lamp above a bed - the caption is "Idealisk sängbelysning. Ställbar mässingsskärm." [Ideal bed lighting. Adjustable brass screen.] - but the lamp is barely visible. Instead, one mainly sees the light of the lamp, the hand on the pull chain, and the arm; the fur pillow on the bed and an open book.

I was attracted to the strangeness of the image but there was also something familiar about it. After enlarging and printing it, I looked at it for some days on the studio wall. Eventually, I realized that the arm with the lamp was similar to the arm and lamp in Marcel Duchamp's final work,  Étant donnés: 1. La chute d'eau, 2. Le gaz d'éclairage [Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas]. This connection was made after making the piece, that is, the making came before the thinking. Then it came to light.