Artist: Katrin Sigurdardóttir
Venue: MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge
Exhibition Title: Drawing Apart
Date: February 13 – April 12, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge. Photos by Peter Harris Studios.
Katrín Sigurdardóttir’s sculptural practice repeatedly examines the way physical structures affect perception. Her works gesture towards real locations, employing shifts in scale and fragmentation to systematically question the truth of both memory and history. Sigurdardóttir’s exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center consists of two bodies of work—Ellefu and Unbuilt Residences in Reykjavík, 1925-1930—both recently completed as part of the commission for this project. The works are executed according to an intensive set of processes that hinge on draftsmanship, with details that Sigurdardóttir ultimately removes, destroys, or otherwise obscures.
The objects in the series Ellefu—“eleven” in Icelandic—are abstracted, miniaturized sections of the artist’s childhood home in Reykjavík. Sigurdardóttir methodically regenerates these segments of exteriors, rooms, and passageways based on her on-site surveys of the architecture, which she develops into highly refined technical drawings. These drawings form the basis for constructing the individual pieces, from prototyping and mold making to casting, joining, and surface polishing. The finished objects are seemingly austere floorbound sculptures that partially conceal signs of their making, their surfaces rendered without evidence of personal history.
For the series Unbuilt Residences in Reykjavík, 1925-1930, Sigurdardóttir selected a group of unrealized architectural plans of houses from the city’s archives. These plans reflect traditional building methods and materials as well as extensive changes in the architecture of Iceland during that period. Sigurdardóttir redrafts these basic architectural plans to create drawings from which she builds models of each residence. Once the models are built, she the destroys them by various means—such as dropping them from a rooftop or burning them outside of her studio—only to reconstruct them from the remains. The eroded structures evince a history imagined through a process as rehearsed and anticipated as it is left to chance.