09.11.2019 — 05.01.2020
Opening: Saturday, 09.11.2019, 16h-18h
Gallery talk with the artist: Sunday, 10.11.2019, 14h-15h
The exhibition, Amanda Riffo: ELASTIC STRESS is part of Skaftfell’s exhibition strategy to work with younger artists based in Iceland who are at a critical point in their careers. Amanda Riffo is a French artist who moved to Iceland in 2012, yet prior to that she was an artist in residence at Skaftfell in 2008.
Amanda Riffo, admits to having really bad eyesight and it is this physiological shortcoming which has inspired much of her artistic practice. The act of looking is fundamental to visual art, it is the meeting of objective reality and subjective experience. Each of us sees in a highly individual way. Riffo uses this type of juxtaposition throughout her work mixing references and processes from different fields, such as laboratory process overlaid on traditional drawings; an empirical approach to divinatory object; or mixing fictional artefacts to real situations. This approach extends to the exhibition title, ELASTIC STRESS, which is taken from the description of the phenomenon when a physical state of a material is transformed by pressure or stress.
Within this exhibition Riffo has begun from her own visual experience, engaging its fallibilities, uncertainties and errors. As we move through the gallery objects shift in appearance. This is more than visual trickery but is suggestive of an understanding of subjectivity that can be applicable within all of an individual’s interactions. Elsewhere in the exhibition Riffo has made scans of mirrors, a poetic limitation of the mirror being a device for perfect reflection. In the resulting prints the mirror is a black void, an infinite loop of image and information. This deadening of an image through an excess of information can also be seen to relate to the social and cultural practices associated with the black mirror within necromancy or divination. In such cases the mirror is not merely a representation of the world but is a means to transcend this physical dimension.
In this installation for Skaftfell, Riffo has made the visitor experience more complex, and as a testing ground for the interaction of psychological and physical space. For her she hopes it will “reveal alternative aspects of our reality when materials are under some kind of invisible pressure.”
Amanda Riffo studied at the National School of fine Arts in Paris, where she graduated with a MFA in 2002. She is based in Reykjavík since 2012. Her work has been shown in Europe, Japan and Chile since 2002. She has participated in several international art fairs and contemporary drawing art fairs (Volta Basel (CH); FIAC Paris (FR)) while she was represented by Gallery Schirman and De Beaucé in Paris between 2005 and 2010.
Her work has been collected by the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. In November 2018 she had her first solo exhibition in Iceland, CAVERN, at the artist-run-space OPEN. In 2019 Riffo participated in the Sequences festival in Reykjavik, and in the same year she was also part of the group show OUTLINE at Maki Fine Arts Gallery, Tokyo 2019. From 2005 to 2008 Riffo worked as a studio assistant for Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. More recently she was awarded with a grant by the Institut Français to do two residency projects in Tokyo (2012 and 2013) where she exhibited at Youkobo Art Space, and was also commissioned for a firework project for the French Embassy in Tokyo. She recently attended the residency program at Boghossian Foundation, Bruxelles, Belgium. Amanda first came to Iceland in 2007 for a residency in SIM and returned a year later to the Skaftfell residency in Seyðisfjörður. She is a member of SIM since 2015 and joined the board of NÝLÓ in December 2017.