80% of what it is
Vatnsfjörður, Westfjords of Iceland
From top down
80% of what it is. 2018
3D print of lignite from Surtarbrandsgil
Display cases from the Environment Agency of Iceland
Cast bronze, outdoor sculpture
Riso print for hikers to Surtarbrandsgil, limited edition.
Distributed by the rangers
Rangers from the Environment Agency of Iceland invite hikers to join them for a walk into the gully in Vatnsdalur 5 times a week.
“Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir‘s artworks and contribution to Staðir/Places 2018 are drawn from the natural phenomena that characterize the area and surroundings of Brjánslækur. Close to the road leading to the gully of Surtarbrandsgil, the artist has placed cast bronze sculptures. The work resembles geometrical cartography symbols used to describe glacial moraines and their movements during the last 11,000 years.
Inside the display cases from the Agency are two pieces of lignite, one in each case that appears to be the same object but one is a replica of the other. The replica is printed in plastic and resemble the original object by 80%
The strata forming Surtarbrandsgil is also only a small part of what it was. Glaciers and weather have shaped and molded this place for millions of years but a bigger threat in our times are travelers who have placed their mark and slowly but gradually transformed the place and large amounts of fossils and lignite have disappeared.
There is something magical about fossils, ancient lithographs of plants that no longer exist but have been preserved for millions of years - moments that have been printed on to sediments, under layers of lava and finally fossilized since the land began to remember.
Inside the biggest natural history museums in Europe, fossils and lignite from Surtarbrandsgil can be found. Parts of the canyon also exists inside many schools in Iceland where they’ve been transformed into artifacts and narrate part of their story. This place goes far beyond the gully inside Vatnsdalur. Just like the lignite that was scanned and 3D printed. But the printed copy will never replace the original object. That what is taken away will never be fully replaced
Instead of picking up what remains of these few fossilized moments in Surtarbrandsgil, travelers are given printed photographs to take home after the hike into the gully. The prints show fossilized leaves and lignite that were once part of this place but were removed a long time ago. On the way back to Brjánslækur, travelers might see glimpse of glacial moraines that rest on the hill below the manor, like small monuments for the disappeared glacier."
from the exhibition catalogue