So in lieu of writing posts for 26-29, this one will cover it all. I am running out of days here and feel the departure coming. The Skammdegi mid-winter festival opened last night. Although no one has had a chance to do the walk yet, due to the opening hours of various places, hopefully tomorrow and Sunday this will happen. I’m keen to get some feedback on what works and what doesn’t- the balance between the subjective essayistic and the documentary material. But I probably need to evaluate that. If I’m really honest, I’m probably more keen to hear that people were engaged or moved by the experience. That they found it funny and honest and immersed them in the place. And drew their attention to sounds and light. That, as Aileen Mysles writes, they felt the immanence.
There have been many ebbs and flows of this last month. I’ve thought a lot about distance and remoteness and the focus has allowed me to be really productive. I’ve felt on the edge of many things. Having arrived a month later than the other artists, and living alone contributed to this. But it’s also better for my practice to have that space and quietness. And after all the initial contact with people and interviews and being engaged and listening to what is going on in the town, the last week has definitely been more solitary.
Last night I finally saw the Northern Lights in their full glory. I couldn’t really capture it with my phone which rendered it dark and pale. But I saw them, and the inability to have that memory rendered indexically feels apt for my experience here.
A few images from the Skammdegi festival period:
Some of the performances included Katrine Faber’s Tales from the trash and Jeffery Shivers’s Bulk Modulus
Some traditional meats such as ram’s testicles and sheep’s head as well as fermented shark that I only got close enough to photograph:
And a rare treat of driving to a farm house in a snowstorm to feed sheep, look at portraits of sheep and hear traditional Icelandic rhyming poetry written for and recited to sheep, all the while drinking hot chocolate and eating Icelandic donuts. Now this is an experience I would never have in Melbourne.