The shed project (2008-2009)

July 13th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

October 18th 2008 I went for a drive to Kleifarvatn lake (not for the first time and not for the last) in desperate need of some inspiration.  Taking a road I hadn’t driven down before, I came across an empty shed.  It was in such a state of disarray, I figured it couldn’t possibly be in use.  I also saw a great deal of potential in it, and after cleaning up most of the mess and pushing the moldy couch to one side, I happily decided to return as soon as possible and get to work transforming it into something more interesting than this:

it's a bit drafty, but offers an excellent view of the lake!

"i don't know honey. It's looks a bit drafty.."

before leaving, I shot both a sweater photo, and a doll photo. At the time, i was completely immersed in my doll series, and never left home without at least 2 dolls in the car.

I returned 2 days later armed with plastic sheeting, electricians tape, a hammer and some nails, and  contentedly set to work covering the windows, with a warm autumn sun looking in on me.  In my head, i had visions of making many different scenarious in this space, painting it in many different colors perhaps, for an intricate series, sure to blow everyones mind..

"this is gonna be so awesome!", she thought to herself..

"this is gonna be so awesome!" she thought to herself..

I was in such a good mood, I stopped to take this photo before leaving:

The same evening, a snowstorm hit (of course).  Not surprisingly, the Icelandic wind made a joke of my makeshift plastic window-covers.  When i returned the next day, (just managing to not get stuck in the snow) meaning to get to work with step two -painting the walls- I found one of the sheets in shreds.  The other was completely intact, but happened to be flapping from a fence a good distance from the shed.

this is what it looks like when Icelandic weather dares you to continue with a silly project..

this is what it looks like when Icelandic weather dares you to continue with a silly project..

Inside, things weren’t very encouraging either:



Having sensed this would happen, i refused to give up.  I had also (just in case) brought with me a bunch of narrow strips of wood. Gritting my teeth, I spent one of the most annoying hours of my life fighting the fierce wind to get the stupid plastic back into place, this time nailing the wooden strips over it, so it wouldn’t just rip right out from the nails again.  Having finally shut out most of the wind and cold again,  I did my best to paint half the shed a rather unattractive peach-pink shade (the only left-over paint i could find in my parents garage) , which would have been easier had the walls been dry..



I then went home, not really caring if the weather would crash the party again or not..

It continued to snow.. I was afraid to return, but on October 26th, I set out with a group of large white branches I had previously used for another series of photos, and my younger son tagging along.  When we reached the turn-off for the road to the shed,  the car promptly sunk into a foot of snow, and refused to go any further.  Even more unfortunately, it also refused to go back onto the main road.  Now, before I even had a chance to think about panicking, i saw a pair of headlights coming at us from the direction of the shed, and it turned out to be a much larger truck, driven by a pair of helpful scouts (no joke).  They not only got my car un-stuck,  they also drove me, my kid, the branches and camera gear all the way up to the shed (about 3 km) .  I of course left my hammer in the car.   But, being helpful scouts, they loaned me one ( scouts honor).  The weather was calm and pleasant, so I told them we’d just walk back, and thanked them for saving my project. (the probably drove off thinking i was insane, and wouldn’t have been too far off)

The plastic hadn’t held this time around either, ( I found some comfort tho, in the fact that i’d nailed it so well into place, that this time the top of the original window frame on the left fell down, plastic still clinging). Deciding to just accept that the weather would be a part of this project from now on,  I arranged the branches in the middle of the floor, and nailed them into place..

Then i arranged a large white sheet with a hole in the middle, around the trees, nailing it to the walls. I wasn’t really sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time..

oct. 26th 2008

Then we hiked back to the car, my son only complaining a little bit when i refused to carry his 9-year-old self along with my tripod and camera bag.

I then visited the shed on a regular basis, documenting how the weather shaped and changed the set-up:

November 4th, 2008

November 9th, 2008.

Finally, on January 10, 2009, I returned to shoot a self-portrait in the ravaged remains of my first-ever installation piece.

after editing, this was my favorite outcome from that shoot:

I told myself my mission was accomplished, but being the hopeless perfectionist i am, doubt soon set in. Finally admitting to myself that I wasn’t satisfied, I returned on March 11th.  Again, the road was impassable (this time due to thawing and deep mud), so I had to walk.   I reshot the scene, and was far more pleased with the result this time around:

Even getting a pretty good outtake:

Last time i drove up to this area, the shed had been torn, and my branches nowhere to be seen, making me even more grateful that I had the sense to document this process.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes posts from other projects in coming weeks..

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it’s all a matter of preference.

July 13th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

i prefer..

hummus to pesto
weightlifting to yoga
dancing to singing
night to day
drinking to smoking
cooking to cleaning
books to movies
the macabre to comedy
the beatles to the stones
fiction to reality
country to city
beer to wine
wide-angle to telephoto
quiet to loud
watermelon to bananas
subtle to obvious
sarcasm to slapstick
a really long kiss to a really short fuck
Dalí to Pollock
long hair to short
showers to baths
the ocean to mountains
fall over spring
black to white
the 80′s to the interneties
knitting to sewing
hip-hop to indie
spontaneity over planning
hard work to short-cuts
falling asleep to waking up
creating to waiting

but that’s just me.

no contest really

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a quick mention of some great books..

July 10th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

To begin with, I have to say i’ve discovered such a gem of a book, it almost deserves its own blog post all by itself:

This book, Pandora, by Jilly Cooper (who I’ve never read before but have instantly fallen in love with) is the most entertaining literary journey I’ve embarked on in a long while.  It’s a massive story, spanning more than half a century, filled with such vivid characters and delightfully mischeivious goings-on that it’s as unputdownable as the best thriller or horror story.  Anyone who’s studied art, is an artist themselves, or has an interest in the art-world should find it worth their while to check out.

I’ve been doing a lot of browsing at the library the last 2 years or so, searching out authors i’ve never read before (after having serendipitously discovered Margaret Atwood a few years back and finished ever single book i could find by her),  and i’ve come across some great stuff. (I also discovered last year that i’m able to read and knit simultaneously, which is pretty awesome, and allows me a lot more time to read than i’d otherwise have, knitting being my day job and all)

In my last post about books,  i mentioned Fay Weldon, who i’d just started reading then.  Weldon is an amazing author with a wicked sense of humor which i thoroughly appreciate.  The Bulgari connection, Puffball, The Hearts and Lives of Men, The Spa Decameron, are particularly good.

Doris Lessing is one of those names i’ve probably heard a million times but had never read until I randomly grabbed one of her books, The Fifth Child the other day , and was surprised at how fascinating and disturbing it was.  Will definitely check out more of her work.

But for now, Jilly Cooper has won my heart, and I’m hoping her other books will prove to be as awesome..

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