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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Gallery show in Ireland May 14th-August 14!

May 28th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

As i mentioned on Flickr the other day,  my first solo exhibit outside of Iceland opened at Man-Made Images in Mountcharles, in northern Ireland on May 14, and will be up until August 14th.  For those not anywhere near Mountcharles, Ireland, or any other place in Ireland for that matter,  the image selection can be viewed, and prints purchased, on the galleries website.

I figured I’d put up a little info on each of the 15 images.  I personally enjoy photos more when they have a bit of story attatched.  The show includes doll photos and scenes of abandonment from around rural Iceland, the two groups linked together by one surreal self-portrait, which shows me peeking through a floating window in the middle of nowhere.  One can imagine that i’m peeking into a dreamworld, where dolls roam around in contradiction to their ordinarily inanimate state.  Dolls have been linked to surrealism from the early days of the movement, appearing memorably in the work of Hans Bellmer.   My reason for deciding to work with dolls (i spent over a year creating a large number of such images) was linked to the common childhood fantasy of ones doll being alive.  Sigmund Freud mentions in his famous essay on the Uncanny,  that in playing, young children make little distinction between living and inanimate objects, and take great pleasure in pretending their dolls are alive,but find nothing disturbing about it. Which is interesting in light of the fact that so many adults find dolls immensely creepy, and probably more so if they’re walking around by themselves (Chucky, anyone?) In any case, I found it a fascinating subject to tackle.

Anyway, here’s a brief rundown of the 15 images:

This is taken in July 2008, at an abandoned farmhouse i came across driving in a remote area in central North Iceland. I seriously creeped myself out setting up this scenario, and would not have gone up those stairs if I'd been offered money. All to easy to imagine the tiny doll boy clambering down the stairs, coming to greet me after years of being there alone, forgotten..

This abandoned truck, which stood for years in a field on the outskirts of my hometown of Hafnarfjörður, (finally removed last year, I believe) appeared on my flickr page back in March of 2006, but has never before been available in print. This was one of my first daytime long-exposures with my ND400 filter, half a minute in bright sunlight.

Here I decided to illustrate the phrase "Babes in the woods", adding a certain element from the "Hanzel and Gretel" fairy tail, i.e. the idea of lost children being tempted by something which appears too good to be true. (And, in accordance with the story, probably is.) The gingerbread house of fairy tale fame represented here by an alluring pile of presents, from which emanates a mysterious light. Sure, they *might* be full of toys, but , you know... the witch did try to eat those kids.. so an explosive device or some creepy cursed monkey would be likelier than a new train set. The only "photoshop" here is the cloning of the doll (it's the same one twice). I did go thru the trouble of gift-wrapping a bunch of boxes and carrying them into the woods in a very un-santa-like black garbage bag, placing a flash inside one of the boxes to create the lighting. This one looks awesome in print.

This was taken in July of 2008, near Skagaströnd in central North Iceland. It was an amazingly (unpleasantly) windy and cold day (for July). What made me stop the car and drive down to this barn was the wild flapping of those strips of plastic. Normally I'd take a long-exposure on a windy day with a sky like that, but I wanted to really capture the essence of the wind here, rather than smooth it out.

This is my doll-homage to my beloved Eve (click on the image please) This doll was a Christmas or birthday present when i was 8 or 9, and for some reason wanted a porcelain doll more than anything (a rarely girlish thing for me to want. I was quite a tomboy otherwise). This is one of my favorites.

This is Helga. She was my first doll, given to me when I was 4 years old. She had a perm back then.. not sure what happened. My mom made that dress for her some years later. I actually shot four portraits like this, on a cold day in february 2009 at Kleifarvatn lake. On each dolls face, I ever-so-slightly altered their expressions, giving them a little more character. The other three can be seen on my website. (Click on the image to see)

This deisel pump stands next to Litla Kaffistofan, a small gas-station/restaurant, located 20 minutes or so outside of Reykjavík, indeed a welcome sight when heading back into town from long trips around south east Iceland. I seem to recall always asking my parents to stop for ice-cream here..

This is Baldur, my older sisters first doll. I took him on a road trip on a bright June night in 2008. This is taken at 5 in the morning, on the Krýsuvík road, which heads out of my town of Hafnarfjörður to Kleifarvatn lake and the Krýsuvík geothermal area a little farther along..

Taken at 2 in the morning at Kleifarvatn, in roughly the same place as the photo I made (a month earlier, at the same time of night) entitled "once in a blue moon".

I came across this barn about a half hour from Höfn í Hornafirði, when driving back from shooting a wedding on the East coast of Iceland in August 2007. A very disgruntled ram stood off to the side bleating ominous warnings at me while i was composing this shot, clearly overstepping my boundaries into his territory.. This is my favorite "abandoned farm" photo.

This doll belongs to my mom, and is more than half a century old. This photo is taken on a January evening in full dark. The exposure was around 3 or 4 minutes.

I think this can be regarded as a "Barbie self portrait", the frozen hair-toss and hand-knitted wool sweater both making frequent appearances on my flickr page . (yes, I made that sweater she's wearing)

This is taken in yet another abandoned farm in North Iceland, in July 2008. I had a friend with me here, and therefore dared to go up onto the second floor to shoot this. The floorboards were quite spongy and rotted in places, and the general mood in the house not at all inviting. Love that wallpaper though.

Empty shell of a house at Vatnsleysuströnd, shot in March 2006. As with the truck above, this is a daytime long-exposure with ND filter.

I just learned that this particular print is not in fact hanging at the moment, as it was bought with frame and everything on the opening night. I'll be sending over a replacement print shortly (for those that actually plan on viewing this exhibit first-hand, I feel it should be there) This is taken in June 2009. I built the window myself, setting up this shot was a pain in the ass, but well worth it.

All prints are 40×60 cm,  with a 2.5 cm white border, signed and numbered on the back. Edition of 50. If you’re interested in purchasing, just send mail to the gallery, or call them.  Click here for contact information.

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Photogenic Icelandic cliché week

April 23rd, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

What better way to follow up the volcano photos, than with some Northern Lights?

Next up, I’m going to will the long dormant Geysir to start spurting again,  and maybe go photograph some whales and puffins after that..

jokes aside, it’s taken 5 years since I got into photography before I finally get a chance to photograph the Aurora Borealis.  Seen them at least twice a year, but always when I’m impossibly far away from a camera. I also learned something about them: they’re hard to photograph.  Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do them more justice at some later date.

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Volcanomania

April 21st, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

When the first volcanic eruption started in March, I adamantly refused to be one of the herd flocking to the site to take pictures of it. Literally thousands of people did so, and the thought of the crowds and the traffic to and fro was seriously offputting, so I figured “someone with a plane and better lenses is going to get better pictures of the lava flow anyway” and left it at that.  (i’ll leave it unsaid if all parts of me agreed with this reasoning)

Then ANOTHER eruption.. Come ON..  This one getting itself all in the news and annoying the hell out of Europe as a whole, keeping everyone from catching their flights, and whatnot.  This time people were being politely asked to stay away from the area, unless they had a good reason.  Since there was no longer a steady stream of people going, I figured now was the time to finally drive out there and at least get a look at it, even if I wouldn’t be able to get any spectacular photos out of it.  Set out yesterday morning (4 am on april 20th) and actually had the road to myself. Awesome.  Got a few worthwhile photos too- nothing mindbogglingly awesome like the long-exposure lightning shots some guy took at night, but I’m pretty sure I’m not able to get to where-ever it was he took those from, so I won’t beat myself up about it.

Edit:  My sister has written a more detailed and accurate account of the eruption, by all means check that out.

I’ll let my photos do most of the talking:

Taken along the Fljótshlíð road. The summer cabins give a sense of scale.

farmhouses nearly obscured by the ominous fog of fine ash

farmhouses nearly obscured by the ominous fog of fine ash

Geese paddling around in an ash-coated pond by the road..The air was uncomfortable to breath at this point, and i was still far from the worst of it.

Geese paddling around in an ash-coated pond by the road..The air was uncomfortable to breath at this point, and i was still far from the worst of it.

Shortly before turning around on the main road, and heading back to take the Fljótshlíð road instead..

Shortly before turning around on the main road, and heading back to take the Fljótshlíð road instead..

These horses are lucky for now.  Farmers caught in the worst of the cloud have been forced to slaughter their animals due to their land being devastated by the ash.

These horses are lucky for now. Farmers caught in the worst of the cloud have been forced to slaughter their animals (at least cows, not sure about horses) due to their land being devastated by the ash.

sheep resting in the morning sun, oblivious to the troublemaker behind them..

sheep resting in the morning sun, oblivious to the troublemaker behind them..

Took this when i was still pretty far away.  From this distance the eruption looks like a very innocent cloud clinging to the mountaintop.

Took this when i was still pretty far away. From this distance the eruption looks like a very innocent cloud clinging to the mountaintop.

Closer up it's a little less innocent looking..

Closer up it's slightly less innocent looking

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