NLHspace, Copenhagen, Denmark
multi-part installation: photographic prints, red wind flag, pair of compasses, spot light
’vista’ is based on my research trips focusing on transformations of landscape: ’Landscape can somehow be seen as an expression of our society, as materialized zeitgeist. (…) Landscape, space is somewhat shaped at the same time as the development of society’ and ’is an integral part of the dynamics of human existence’ (Framke, 1989).
Here I am especially interested in the studies of coastal landscapes where the experience of liminality is prominent. Liminality can be described as a transformative zone, to be in ’a state of flux’, in the space between the known and the unknown. ’Vista’ is based on observations of the Danish coast outside Nakskov, from the island Albuen: In the days before modern technology, the horizon line was synonymous with the reach of communication. At Albuen one finds an abandoned building, the former ’Kystudkig’, an observation point for the sea and the horizon. The Coastal Observation Service was established in 1915 as part of the Admirality. The aim was to ’be kept informed of incidents at sea, in the air and on land’. The observation point at Albuen was part of a series of posts along the Danish coast. It was active during World War I, between 1939 and 1949 and again during the Cold War from 1951 until 2000. Thus, even nowadays it appears as an example of the relationship between society and its surroundings. ’vista’ examines how the object and the observer are placed according to the liminality of space, distances and horizon lines. How can one perceive landscape, location, perspectives and proportions? Large photographs of the horizon line of Albuen are displayed at NLHspace. They appear to be blurred and distorted, recorded through the binoculars of the observation point. The sea in shades of grey and white is framed by the limitations of the lense. No matter how sharp one attempts to focus, something remains overlooked. A circle of translucent glass with a detail of a photograph is suspended in the exhibition space and reminds the observer of her own position, at the same time as it hangs in the way of an undisturbed view.
From the viewer on the street, ‘vista’ could be experienced as a three-dimensional work, in a similar way as the landscape from the coastal observation point, a liminal space viewed from the outside. The project broaches the issue that political developments can be manifested in the shaping and perception of landscape, and illustrates the relationship between the viewer and the object, the dialogue between the passer-by on the street and the exhibition space.
Thanks to the Danish Arts Council and Vesterbropuljen for their support.