Wednesday, 12 February 2020

A Sense of Place

In 2003, Charlotta María Hauksdóttir moved from her native Iceland to California to study photography. “The relocation stirred in her a sense of rootlessness and a yearning for the landscapes of her childhood,” the press release says. She began to make regular trips to Iceland to take photographs “that she would then reconstruct and repurpose in her studio.”
Although having myself lived in a number of countries far from my native Switzerland but never experienced a sense of rootlessness, I nevertheless felt occasionally a yearning for the landscapes of my childhood or, to be more precise, for the familiar smells that I associate with my youth. In other words, I can partly identify with Charlotta María Hauksdóttir Californian longing for Iceland. Yet why, I wonder, did she not just record what she found? Why did she reconstruct and thus repurpose the photographs taken?
In an interesting read at the end of this nicely done tome she gives quite some hints in which she recounts early memories and specifically mentions a roadtrip during a snowstorm with her father. “In later years, he was often my driver on photography excursions, where he would tell me the names of every landmark we saw – which, sadly, I would promptly forget.” Same with me, I automatically thought, some things (as interesting as I might find them) I almost immediately forget, others however (and among them quite some things I do not think interesting at all) will stay with me forever.
For the full review, go here

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