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Jessica Auer: The Heath

15.4.2024 — 8.6.2024

Opening: Saturday, April 13, 4-6 pm

The Heath exhibition comprises recent photographs and videos by the renowned Seyðisfjörður- based, Canadian photographer Jessica Auer. 

Heiðin – an ongoing work, explores the history and development of Road 93, the highest altitude road in Iceland and the only overland route in and out of Seyðisfjörður. In wintertime the road is closed for days, cutting off residents from supplies and the rest of society. This unique way of life, isolated and precarious, is in the process of radical change, as the mountain plateau known as Fjarðarheiði may soon be replaced with a 13-km tunnel.

The Heath documents this pivotal change through mediums of film, photography and storytelling over the past several years.

In 2021, when the news broke that a tunnel connecting Seyðisfjörður with the rest of Iceland would be built under Fjarðarheiði heath, Jessica Auer instinctively began photographing along the road that will be replaced by this tunnel. As the residents of Seyðisfjörður approach their new reality, Jessica has been looking at how the imminence of this dramatic change is causing people to reflect on their experiences of the landscape as they look forward to the potential future. 

Jessica´s research relates to the spirit of Art Historian Richard Deacon’s visual essay on sculpture “I wanted to talk about the future, but I ended up thinking about the past”. In a similar vein, Marcel Proust’s novel Á la recherche du temps perdu (In search of lost time), refers to how certain cues encountered in life evoke recollections of the past. This concept marks the foundation for Heiðin. In exploring the prospect of the tunnel, Jessica aims to invoke people‘s thoughts, memories and emotions toward the mountain pass, as an obstacle in their everyday lives.

Jessica Auer
 
Jessica Auer is a Canadian photographer, filmmaker, and educator based in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. Her work focuses on landscapes as cultural sites, examining societal attitudes towards place. Using large format photography, Jessica explores how landscapes are preserved, altered, or commodified for sightseeing. She received her MFA from Concordia University in Montréal and teaches part-time in the Photography department. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals worldwide. In Seyðisfjörður, Jessica runs Ströndin Studio, a photographic research facility and educational institution.