FOSS presents four recently published editions at the event “On Site” at Skaftfell gallery. The editions represent a range of artistic expressions and formats however all developed under the influence of “the hand” of circumstances; local natural phenomena, ephemeral occurrences, historical events and social aspects. Foss, is established in Seyðisfjörður in 2016 by artists Linus Lohmann and Litten Nystrøm, publishes limited editions of printed- and non printed matter by international artists.
The first of three “Seydisfjördur Editions” co-published with Widowed Swan; Sunnudagur, 29. september 1912 is a collaboration between Norwegian artist Arild Tveito and Scottish writer, curator and director of Widowed Swan, Gavin Morrison, based on a journal-entry by David Pinsent. The journal from which it is taken describes a tour of Iceland, Pinsent set out on with the philosopher Wittgenstein over 100 years ago. The entry for Sunday, the 29 of September 1912 — is from when their ship stopped in Seyðisfjörður during their journey. Pinsent mentions the landscape and northern lights, yet the words allude to more than is expressed. Wittgenstein’s successes in logic are not described, the photographs taken by Pinsent, are now lost. As much as the words reveal, they also obscure. The description becomes a near-isolated totality, as Wittgenstein says in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922): “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”. Morrison and Tveito sought to create an echo of this linguistic exiling, banishing this single entry, and having it translated into the language of the place of which it speaks (The original entry in English was translated to Icelandic by Þorbergur Þórsson, who has previously translating Wittgenstein for publication in Iceland.) The edition is letterpress printed on a proof press on a large paper format (520×760 cm) at The Technical Museum of East Iceland and published in 75 numbered copies + 15 printers and artist’s proofs.
The second of three Seydisfjördur editions co-published with Widowed Swan; Múskatópolis is an edition in the shape of a deck of cards by Icelandic artist PÉTURK. The background for the project is the observation of man constantly being surrounded by words – from other beings, instruments and transformed from visual stimuli of alphabets and pictograms. Words often repeated by a cultural environment, where they thrive and dominate while they accompany a defined worldview. The more apparent these views become, the more foolish other worldviews can start to seem. The ‘Múscatópolis’ cards provide players with the opportunity to travel around a sky of concepts and choose or reject according to the accidental arrangement of fate. They communicate a diverse range of cultural- and social structures, divisions and beliefs. ‘Múskatópolis’ encourage both private conversations as well as open political discussions while essentially providing clue words and images that allow for various interpretations and ways of play. The edition is available in 100 decks of cards (52x75mm) in hand printed and embossed boxes as well as 30 full sheets, uncut prints of cards (420x700mm).
Sunnudagur 29. september 1912 and Múskatópolis have both been realized in collaboration with Geisiprent.
The artist’s book Rare postcards from Iceland by Stéphane le Mercier is based on a selection of found postcards form Iceland. The selection was purchased by the artist from a larger collection found in Stuttgart Germany and depicts Icelandic landscape and meteorological/geological events, emphasizing various states of matter; ice, water, steam etc. The book contains the legends of the now lost postcards: Short lines of text (descriptions of natural phenomena) which appear as minimalistic sculptures on otherwise blank pages. Stéphane le Mercier was born at Saint-Brieuc (FR) in the area ‘Les Cótes du Nord’. An area later renamed ‘Cotes du Armor’. Le Mercier always felt part of a northern landscape – the grey color, the rain etc. The editions depict the distance yet close encounter with a foreign however universal landscape, possible through ones imagination based on minimal descriptions. The edition includes a subtle reference to Laurence Wieners ‘man made’ (TNT) landscaping hidden among other happenings. Published in 240 signed and numbered copies (100×158 mm).
Rapid Sunsets by Litten Nystrøm, is an artist’s book, and materialized part of an archive of found (or captured) photographs from road surveillance cameras situated at isolated road passages in East Iceland. The archive has been accumulated since 2012 as a methodological approach in the search for encounters with unfamiliar territories. The book pages, hold together merely by the folded cover (297x420mm), unfolds to three larger broadsides (420x594mm), comprised of a number of unidentified flashes of light. The cover can be read as a continuous line of compressed data; location, direction, temperature, wind speeds etc connected to the depicted images: Formal scientific information accompanying images that on the other hand hints to the unidentified, – happenings of unfamiliar character and origin submitting light to an otherwise monochrome space / surface. Published in 100 signed and numbered copies.
The project has been kindly supported by Regional Development Fund of East Iceland, Geisiprent, Leturprent, Mengi and Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art.