Curatorial brief for “Coping with Distance”, an exhibition of contemporary photography from Iceland in the Photoforum Pasquart, 2015
When we connect two points with a straight line we know that they are at a certain distance of each other. But do we ask why do we want to connect them? Could we stop to act, just for a moment, and maybe not connect theses two points while reflecting what we could do else?
We would find ourselves in a good company, since the question how to cope with distance has been asked many times before. Many answers were given as well, some even became a prominent discursive backcloth in art.
In times when the projection of local contexts into a world which is more and more defined by connectivity and nonetheless “narrative structures have the status of spatial syntaxes” (de Certeau, 1986), we want to know more about these forces that are present in these bubbles and spheres as they are not trivial, especially when it comes to the creation of art. Because art does not exist outside of any place nor of any context, even when it seems distant at times. So to say ’distance’ alludes to a varied palette of contexts: bridging the gap from the past to the present, the one from the periphery to the center or even the one from ‘the self’ encounters ‘the other’. But we should not forget that ‘distance’ was initialy coined as a spatial concept, nonetheless involving materialities, politics and imaginations – reflecting people’s engagement with their physical-material environment.
How are the patterns of distance made up? The photography chosen for “Coping with Distance” displays a variety of contemporary and visual approaches to a phenomenology of how ‘distance’ and the transitions between the multifaceted perceptions thereof are constituted.