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Northern Layers - Opening 23th of February 2021


Curated by Cinzia D’Ambrosi

Over the course of history, Iceland has had a dramatic past; on a purely geographical terms, has had and still has, a largely active volcanic activity and the land is in a continue mutation. On a social physical dimension, massive changes have come about and often following adverse and dramatic events. A most recent one, in late 2008, following the default of three major banks, Iceland experienced a banking collapse, that relative to the size of the country, is considered the largest experienced by any country in economic history.

The event led to important social changes, including economic depression, unrest, and then a complete overhaul when the world pinned Iceland on the map following the eruption Eyjafjallajokull and the suspension of flights over a time. Since then, Iceland has gone through a massive change, jolting it from a country mostly financially dependent on fishing and heavy industry, turning to tourism as one of the main economy activities.

Northern Layers is presenting Icelandic photographers whose work portrays a different face of Iceland from the snowy picturesque images we are so accustomed to seeing in tourism advertising board. We are presented with a photographic narrative that exposes some of the layers that form the Icelandic society. The four photographers invited in Northern Layers, are presenting stories of those living in Reykjavik camping site as seen in the powerful and equally tender photos of Heiða Helgadóttir, the underground culture populated by young people using graffiti as a form of protest in the work of Björgvin Sigurðarson, and a journey into the rapidly changing infrastructure of Iceland in the work of Ingvar Högni Ragnarsson and in the work of Pétur Thomsen, the artificial lake and the constructions that have spoiled one of Europe’s largest wildernesses through the construction of three dams, the Kárahnjúkar Hydroelectric Project , one of which the highest in Europe.

Northern Layers is about looking at the speed of events that have catapulted the country in ways that not even the locals recognise and trying to capture the traces of what it was/is and will be. – Cinzia D’Ambrosi.


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