Harbour, Reykjavik

Harbour: the synecdoche of a system.
Text by Rui Ferreira


– Strolling: the gaze holds sway over myself.


While strolling, little physical investment is needed. The body is nearly devoid of thrust. Instead, my gaze holds sway. While strolling, images arise successively and are imprinted in both the film and in myself. To curtail the origin of an image to a moment within a lengthy walk would, however, be insufficient. I walk and advance. I see and decide for or against this very image. The image is not instantaneous but it is being assembled as I come near. It existed before me and will continue to exist after I pass by. In strolling, there is no intention but it is also not devoid of intention. Strolling matters for what it is. It enables an openness that leads to thought on systems and natures. At the time of strolling, a serene dispassion comes upon me, and I become susceptible to inscription. As I walk through these spaces, I passively take upon me what they emanate. I surrender myself to them and let the continuous change of the surroundings have its effect on me. At times, it will turn into an image.


– Archaeology of space: wasteland and marooned objects.


There is something about strolling in constructed spaces devoid of people which fascinates me. Spaces which were architected by people but where they are only to be witnessed. Where, at once, unravelled reminiscences do matter because their surfaces determine the shades in the images. An archaeology of space begins to take place. Anterior geometries become apparent, now as wasteland. They have evolved into a wrecked reality, filled by marooned objects. Despite their current inhabited state, these spacesā€˜ temporary void amply suggests me their past.


The absence of others propels me toward something not seen, opening up narratives which are not told. Narratives bound to surfaces, exuded from spatial arrays and confined by the exercise of framing. These are spaces that embed all hidden stories, scenarios where obsolete narratives are plausible. But what narratives are these? Who are the missing ones? Under which economical systems have these spaces been built? What does nature say about itself? What then remains unseen? And what do these images tell of, if not of that which they do not tell?

– Images of voided spaces: representation becomes narrative.


These are images of voided spaces. They result from seeing and not from knowing, they do not count or report. They merely show what I see as I am the one walking through these spaces. Spaces that are real but which bring about the imaginable. Spaces that are the shape of that which is not there, and therefore question the documental quality of the image. What do these images document, if the absent ones remain unportrayed?


The likeness between image and space is the result of a transformative process through which an overwhelming, expanded surface becomes a contained, tangible surface. I may, now, grab the image and isolate it from a row of images in the film-roll. At this point, the sensorial has just become factual, space and image intrinsic and representation becomes itself narrative.


Strolling may be represented through a successive depiction of single spaces, for example as a filmic sequence or a photographic slideshow. The artwork will embody the physical act of strolling while turning thoughts into images. It generates a place which allows me to comprehend new, perhaps, even unknown, forms of economy.


– Harbour: the synecdoche of a system.


The choice of a territory along the coastline is not by chance. The harbour is a place where languages meet: the one, of those arriving and the one, of those inhabiting. Which one prevails is a matter to be answered by history – most likely, that of the colonist will repress native languages and dialects. It is a space which is not stagnant, where warehouses contain economies and nautical mechanics expose its grandeur.


The question of which harbour is perhaps not relevant. The idea of a scene of domestic and international economies and the synecdoche of an economic system concerns me much more. I must not see the absent ones in order for economics to become visible: it has already manifested itself in the imported and local materials. However, I need to dedicate myself to history in order to experience what remains unseen in the pictures.


The territory becomes a commodity itself: resources, such as rocks, nested in its geology, are later turned to gravel and used for the construction of airports and military airfields.