Jessica Auer: Selected Photographs from Looking North

January 23 – April 2, 2023, Skaftfell Bistró

Photographs from the series Looking North, by Seyðisfjörður-based artist Jessica Auer, will be presented in the Skaftfell Bistró from January 23 – April 2, 2023. Looking North was first shown as a feature exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík in 2020. The installation at Skaftfell will be the first time works from the series will be on view to the public since the exhibition two years ago. 

A native of Québec, Canada, Auer relocated to Seyðisfjörður as the tourism boom in Iceland was reaching its peak. The series Looking North is a five-year survey of Auer’s travels in Iceland, her encounters with tourist groups, and her close observations of her immediate surroundings in her adopted new home. In embarking on the project Auer set out to explore Iceland’s sightseeing destinations. The photographs document moments when travelers interface with their natural surroundings.  

Artist Talk: Thursday, January 26, 17:00-18:00, Skaftfell 3rd floor

The installation and artist talk coincide with Auer’s exhibition Landvörður, curated by Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir, opening at Sláturhúsið in Egilsstaðir, on Saturday, January 28, 2023. For more information:

About the artist:

Jessica Auer is a Canadian artist who teaches photography at Concordia University in Montréal. She resides for half the year in Seyðisfjörður, East Iceland, where she is director of Ströndin Studio. Auer’s work is broadly concerned with the study of landscapes as cultural sites. Through a research-based practice, she examines our social, political, and aesthetic attitudes towards place, including, but not limited to, historic sites, tourist destinations, and small communities. 

Working mainly with large format photography, Jessica is best known for her tableau-style photographs that examine the ways in which landscapes have been preserved, altered or commodified for sightseeing. Through these photographs, she expresses a deep concern for nature and the vulnerability of remote sites and communities when confronted with mass tourism. Her images aim to reveal the geopolitical realities surrounding travel and the paradox of attempting to preserve the same landscapes that the industry often seeks to exploit.

Auer received her MFA from Concordia University in Montréal, where she teaches part-time in the Photography department. Her work has been presented in several museums, galleries and festivals, such as the Canadian Center for Architecture, The Reykjavík Museum of Photography and the COTM photography festival in Cortona, Italy.

Auer has been awarded grants and prizes for photography, art and cinema, and has been featured by Prefix Photo (Canada), Femmes Photographes (Paris), Radio Canada International, ARTE television network, and the Guardian. As her work often responds to place, she has participated in several residency programs including the Banff Centre in Canada, The Brucebo Foundation in Gotland and Bær Art Center in Iceland. Jessica was most recently awarded a residency with Artlink at Fort Dunree in Ireland.

While in Iceland, Auer runs Ströndin Studio, a photographic research facility and educational institution in Seyðisfjörður.‍