Absence of Self

Ivana Franke, Lauri Astala, Bryndis Hronn Ragnarsdottir, Mirjana Vodopija

1/23/2015 - 4/5/2015

Artworks meditating arts reflective ability and absence of immediate self in various disciplines including installations, video projections and ‘flicker’ objects. 


Lauri Astala 

On Disappearance (2012) (click for video)

On Disappearance is an interactive, computer-aided video installation. The  spectator is placed on a stage to act as a central character in the movie. On the screen the spectator is drawn into another time and space, where he/she encounters another person – the author of the work – as if they were sharing the same space. First, the author’s voice tells about his ambiguity and estrangement towards this place where he has returned. Then the author turns his gaze towards the spectator and addresses him/her, questioning their mutual position and situation.

The work deals with the changes in our spatial and temporal experience induced by the current communication technology. Technology has altered the habits of social encountering. How do we encounter the other in this virtualized world?

Mirjana Vodopija

Possibility, Will, Decision, Action (2013)

The work consists of three parts that make up ambiance.

First part, Ice is carried out in two media because there are two different planes of existence within the work. Video animation representing possibility is projected to the print with the space actually recorded, in which the action is taking place and where the footprints in the snow point to my presence and the path walked along. The footprints end at the edge of a frozen lake. Walking on ice requires courage and decision-making. Here, there is a possibility.

Once I had a dream. I was climbing at night up a hill, along ancient weed-choked temples and further among low vegetation. I came to the peak, and behind the peak there was a light so strong that I could not see a thing. It was marvelous, supernatural and entirely overtaking me. But I was afraid of walking further. I turned around and got down to the valley, where there were my friends and some other (drunk) people.

What was missing? Courage. Often when carrying out some of my decisions I feel so unreal as if I were sketched doing that, and not real. Sometimes I give up, turn around and go back to my footprints. The footprints in the snow in the picture do not with certainty tell whether I have returned or left.

Central part of the triptych is video White, projected on the screen set in space so projection can be seen both sides. I am standing amidst whiteness, motionless, except barely noticeable breathing. Both projection sides show an image of me from the back. My front part is not there, because there is no forward to go. In the omnipresent whiteness everything is the same, no possibility and no goal to go for. That is what makes movement unnecessary.

In the video Departure I act unhesitatingly by walking off into a field and disappearing in the distance. I am recorded as I really walk. It is entirely irrelevant when and where, but there is no stopping, no doubt and no hesitation.

Bryndis Hronn Ragnarsdottir

Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir is a visual artist living and residing in Reykjavik Iceland.

Her works, assembled in and of various mediums are process orientated and have a spatial emphasis. They display a continuation of a process within her practice, dwelling on the border of the substantial world and the impenetrable, the imaginary and the emotional

Among her recent solo shows are “Psychotronics” in The Living Art Museum, “The Assembly of the Holy” in the National Gallery of Iceland and “Rupture” in The Museum of Akureyri. She will represent TYS Gallery as part of the Reykjavik Arts Festival in may 2015 followed by a dual exhibition in ASÍ Museum named “Portals- Forget me not”

Bryndís has done curatorial work and edited publications related to visual arts. She received a BFA from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2002 and an MFA from Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna in 2006.

Ivana Franke 

Seeing with Eyes Closed, 2011 (click for video)

Seeing with Eyes Closed is an installation with LED lights which are programmed to flicker simultaneously at frequencies between 12 and 50 hertz and for an entire duration of 3 minutes and 18 seconds. Visitors are invited to sit on the floor in front of the installation and close their eyes. They are then exposed to the flashing light, which gives rise to a quasi-hallucinatory visual experience of moving images behind closed eyes.

The installation Seeing with Eyes Closed is realized within the research project of the same title with neuroscientist Ida Momennejad, in collaboration with the Association of Neuroesthetics.

The installation Seeing with Eyes Closed concerns the visual experience of flowing images induced by stroboscopic light behind closed eyes. Being aware that the seen images have no foundation in external reality, one experiences them as hallucinatory. This ‘conscious quasi-hallucinating’ challenges our sense of the real in its alternation and its permeability with the imaginary. Each person’s experience differs from that of others, and each ascribes different dimensions to the perceived space in constant transformation. Communicating the content of this ephemeral flux of unpredictable percepts stretches the limits of acquiring a subjective report to extremes, and challenges the scientific aspiration to precisely measure the timing of conscious phenomena.

With the unpredictability of visual responses to light stimuli, participation in the art installation raises the question of subjectivity and authorship. The final “work” happens in our body and depends on our experience as well as on the boundary between the public and intimate space.


On Disappearance, Lauri Astala from Wood Street Galleries on Vimeo.