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15 nautical miles

The exhibition “15 nautical miles” at Gróttuviti in Seltjarnarnes was developed based on process- oriented, site-specific, and collaborative exhibition- making. The project was open-ended, an experiment. The theme and works were developed throughout the process of interacting with the fellow artists and the space over the period of several months, inspired by the performative and sentimental notion connected with the act of encountering the lighthouse. We shared knowledge, research, and thoughts, as well as time and space. We wished to collaboratively activate this empty space and realized that it was not empty at all.

curator: Iona Jasija Poldervaart

participating artists: Iða Brá Ingadóttir // Julie Sjöfn Gasiglia Martha Lyons Haywood // Masaya Ozaki Vikram Pradhan

sensing the space

Lighthouses seem to be buildings of the past, of pre- technological times. But even with today’s use of GPS and modern navigation technologies, many lighthouses are still in use to safely guide ships to the shore in case the technology fails. Moreover, the sentimental attraction of lighthouses, the meaning of home, hope, and safety connected to their function, and the

presence of mystery and past stories associated with the history of lighthouses are strongly kept alive by prevalent representation in art.

Meaning, beauty, and sentimentality, though, are usually connected to the things we perceive from the lighthouse’s exterior. For many of us, the interior holds a mystery. And even if we have been inside one – did we realize what was there?

“15 nautical miles” invites visitors into the unfamiliar world of the interior of Grótta’s lighthouse. Entering it might feel like a performative act, a ritual; bodies filled with anticipation for the unknown yet familiar in imagination. Inside, we can notice the damage that weather and time have caused to the lighthouse. Broken windows, damp and moldy rooms, and some outdated machines are evidence of a space out of use, an abandoned structure. The beauty or melancholy perceived from the outside disappears and the raw and overwhelming physicality becomes present. Maybe, then, we extend our senses to what we cannot see: The forgotten stories, the symbolic meaning and different narratives of the space, the hidden life, the smell and echoes.

Instead of a static structure, the artists encounter the lighthouse as an interactive entity that adds its own presence to the artworks. With different performative, sculptural, poetic, and acoustic works, they shed light on these hidden or ephemeral elements in gentle gestures, intending to highten our bodily perception and maybe changing our perspectives on what is in front of us.

“land-scape-land-scope” Julie Sjöfn Gasiglia

Moving images & living sculpture, Video projection, steel, agar solution and living organism.

Spaces are never empty, even if they are. In the seemingly vacant lighthouse, Julie Sjöfn Gasiglia is on a search for hidden life. Under the microscope, she examined samples from the inside of Gróttuviti that she took with as little invasion as possible. Without trying to categorize what she is seeing, she recognizes the beautiful and fascinating world that opens up. With a living sculpture, Julie lets us take part in her discovering process. In the video work “land-scape-land-scope”, we dive into visuals that could be anything, while realizing that this is happening in this moment, all around and within us – we are part of it.

all texts by Iona Jasija Poldervaart


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