you’ve got a face with a view

photographs and collage. 2011

Without Destination
Hafnarhúsið
Reykjavík Art Museum

curated by Markús Þór Andrésson

It is said that we are all shaped by our environment. Most Icelanders will be familiar with the idea that a sublime landscape, unstable weather, and grim forces of nature have set their mark on the national character. Whether Icelanders themselves bruit this cliché or whether it is projected onto us from other quarters, it persists and flourishes in the world of advertisement and national promotion. Olafsdottir’s images give this notion a friendly tweak be merging persons and natural settings into one.

The artist’s own friends posed for these works, and as she switched out their faces for collages of scenic postcards, she tried to create some allusion to character within the confines of the composition. The exaggerated exoticism of the postcards is imposed over each veiled personality. Listening to a 1983 Talking Heads’ song ‘This must be the place’ Olafsdottir ran across the line, you’ve got a face with a view, and the title of the work fell into place.

words by Markús Þór Andrésson