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THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE
2014
 
Salma Cheddadi and Jara Karlsdottir

 

Inspired by Heisenberg, Parmenides and Jorge Luis Borges this work explores the extremities of our perception of the world and the matter it is made of.

 

A multimedia performance, a mixture of film, theater and music performance. Commissioned by the Côte Court festival in Cinema 104, Pantin, Paris.

 

 

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FUGLAR (BIRDS)
2011
 
Jarþrúður Karlsdottir and Vera Sölvadóttir

 

 

A short video essay about birds and humans.

 

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A YEAR IN POSTCARDS
2009
 
Jarþrúður Karlsdottir and Vera Sölvadóttir

 

In late July 2008, the two of us sat in a café discussing the advances in communication that have taken place in our society in the last decade or so and about the radical differences in the ways individuals now talk to one another. These technological advances have made our world a much smaller place, where all kinds of information can be transmitted far and wide in a fraction of a second.

 

 

One of the few things that have not changed is the postcard. Despite the ubiquity of email messages, people still send postcards when they travel and we still love receiving them. The brief missives scratched on that small rectangle can frame our day. Whether it’s food we liked or hated, the day’s headlines or a simple description of the weather and despite the fact that anyone could read them, postcards always contain something personal. They are real and a part of our physical world. Our conversation in the café engendered the idea of sending a postcard to a stranger in a foreign country. The idea was to find a name and an address and simply send a friendly postcard. No introduction, no return addresses. Our only goal was the same as smiling at a stranger, to surprise someone and brighten up their day with an old fashioned-postcard.

By searching the Internet we found the homepage of a Japanese scientist that contains all his personal information, from his shoe-size and personal interests to his marital status. It so happened that it was his birthday that day so we decided to send him our kindest birthday regards.

This first postcard triggered a perverse interest in us to keep going. A mixture of curiosity and narcissism drove us to continue sending these postcards. We decided to meet once a week and send a postcard to a stranger. Each time we chose a new country and a name we liked and told that person what had happened in our lives during the week. As the postcards piled up we realized how the concept had turned into something new and bigger.

When we started writing we had no idea how much would happen in our little country in this strange year. We witnessed the crash of our national economy and our banking system. For a while we wondered if we would ever travel abroad again. We saw the biggest protests the country has seen, protests that resulted in the fall of the government and the creation of a new one. All this affected our public and our private lives.

The postcards, directly and indirectly, tell the story of these changes and give a personal picture of a small country experiencing financial turmoil. Our discussions of dinner parties and leisurely summer days soon turned into descriptions of political change, financial collapse and our closed environment. Our postcards had become central to our lives. Reading them gives each recipient a different and more personal picture of what happened in Iceland quite unlike those one finds in the media.

The exhibition also prompts questions about the vanishing line between private and public life. Personal information has become easily accessible to everyone, everywhere. The world is gradually becoming like a small coastal village in Iceland where everyone can know everything about everybody else--if they care to.

The postcards are realistic and intended to show the absurdity of modern life. Through ourselves we give the viewer an insight into events that no one could have predicted. Yet, love and hope are always present as our constant goal was to put a smile on a strange face with a postcard sent from a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Jara &Vera