St i ll
Exhibition by Maria K Steinsson

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Aug 27 – Sept 28, 2015

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t A d is pleased to present this exhibition entitled St i ll , featuring the work by artist Maria K Steinsson, who lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland. The exhibit consists of three major bodies of work by the artist: Flat 5, Flat 301, and 3:05 – 3:06 pm Reading Newspaper.
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Steinsson photographs the everyday places, people, and activities using long exposures to capture the entire happening of event in one shot. Steinsson describes her images as containing “the performed activity rather than simply displaying a split second of it. Each moment fades and what remains is the ambience of overlapping moments.”

St i ll opens the first exhibition for the project Outskirts: Bodies, Places, and Identities organized by t A d. It is a multi-exhibition project for and about women.

 
 
 

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selected images from Flat 5 (2012).

 

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What The Body Is; What The Body Do
by araya vivorakij, curator

 

St i ll opens the first exhibition for Outskirts: Bodies, Places, and Identities — a project for and about women. This curatorial alignment wouldn’t have been realized without the concerted effort and genial help of the artist, Maria K Steinsson. Her work elicits a sense of ethereal wonder, offering boundless possibility to be discovered. It moves me to trace the shadowy body in her photographs, and to bring forth the two concerns that have been in the heart of feminist writings and theories over decades — the body and the domestic sphere.

 

“It moves. It feels.” Brian Massumi

Steinsson presents three bodies of work in this exhibit. They all portray the idea of one’s private life. Flat 5, for example, is a series of 15 photographs that record the artist’s daily activities at home and alone. It resembles a kind of picture diary. Her log begins with the titles 8:15-8:19 Waking Up, 8:19-8:21 Getting Out of Bed, … and continues onto 18:45-19:00 Cooking Dinner, … 00:05-00:15 Falling Asleep. Using long exposures, Steinsson is able to photograph these activities precisely as what they should be: happenings or events. More important in this discussion is the way Steinsson captures herself (her body) in the photographs, exposing what the body is. Feminist theorist Elizabeth Grosz asserts that any understanding of the body requires a spatial and temporal framework. The spatiality and temporality embodied in Steinsson’s photographs reveal the body as that blur, the indistinct shape created by her long exposures. The body is clearly the movement, the happening, the event.

Social theorist, writer, and philosopher Brian Massumi puts it this way: “[w]hen I think of my body and as what it does to earn that name, two things stand out. It moves. It feels. In fact, it does both at the same time. It moves as it feels, and it feels itself moving.” This quote resonates with Steinsson’s images of her lived body as it breathes, sleeps, eats, acts and interacts in time and space. Movement and sensation intrinsically constitute her body as event —malleable, fluid, transposable, and alive.

 

“I’m not inside anything. I’m not outside it, either.” Denise Riley

In some photographs, the body appears as if it has a ghost-like double, or doppelgänger. Doppelgänger is a fictional phenomenon, often portrayed in psychological thrillers. This phenomenon, in fact, bears a resemblance to the real-life experience of the phantom limb or the body phantom. Seeing and sensing the phantom, from the neuropsychiatric perspective, is not pathological but a normal bodily experience. It occurs because we experience the body through movement and sensation not in itself, but in tandem with a series of mediated body images in the mind. Visually akin to the phantom-like images of Steinsson’s, the lived experience of the body is virtual, abstract, and multiple.

Read more [/wpex]
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