The Nordic house Reykjavík/ The present is now. part of the Reykjavik Arts Festival.

Most people who have lost a loved one understand the need to hold on to feelings that the deceased person evoked. They touch objects, open closets, inhale a smell that gradually fades. All in an effort to capture the traces that the departed left behind.
Ten years ago, Bára Kristinsdóttir photographed the home of her parents-in-law. Those photographs show a home filled with details that tell stories about the people who lived there. The photographer looks for symbolic signs and fleeting nuances that express things that words cannot easily capture. The black and white shading underlines the sense that the time that is preserved belongs to the past. Life has turned into memories.
Bára Kristinsdóttir’s photographs of her in-laws’ home before and after their death can be viewed as a sort of opposition to the passing of time. Photographs that confirm the existence of the deceased as much as his or her absence interact with others that preserve the memories of a life that was. After the passing of a loved one, objects are packed into boxes, a kettle disappears from a table, an embroidered wall hanging is taken down. And yet they leave something behind. Empty lounges and naked walls cause us to look for traces of times past. Inherent in the absence is the presence of the person that was.
The photographs remind us that we are perhaps never as vulnerable as we are in death. The living decide how memories are preserved, how immortality is treated and how the traces we leave behind are obliterated, little by little. In the wake of a death, objects are placed in boxes, an entire lifetime is removed; some things are put in storage, others are sold. Estate agent act nonchalant as they place price tags on walls and floors.
Just like in her work My Brother’s Surroundings from 2006, Bára Kristinsdóttir addresses those pressing questions and feelings that are awakened when a loved one dies and we are left with only memories, objects and traces of the departed. Although the photographs are personal, they also evoke questions about the framework that individuals create around their lives, as much as about those traces they leave from one day to the next, traces that, in the end, may be the only thing that remains.

Sigrún Sigurðardóttir

http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_6.jpg
The present is now:
Reykjavik art festival 2010
http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_12_v2.jpg
The present is now:
Reykjavik art festival 2010
http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_5.jpg
The present is now
Reykjavik art festival 2010
http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_4.jpg
The present is now
Reykjavik art festival 2010
http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_3.jpg
2010 Nordic House Reykjavík “Núna”
The present is now
http://www.baraljos.is/files/gimgs/24_2.jpg
the present is now
Reykjavik art festival 2010