AD INFINITUM | Elín Hansdóttir & Úlfur Hansson

14.01.2022 - 27.03.2022


Ad Infnitum in Gerðarsafn is a thought-provoking collaboration between visual artist Elín Hansdóttir and composer/sound artist Úlfur Hansson. Together, the Icelandic duo (and siblings) explore subtle phenomenological aspects of spatial orientation. Hansdóttir and Hansson invite the viewer to dwell in a liminal space that evades concrete meaning but foregrounds the embodied awareness of being present in an environment.

Elín Hansdóttir’s immersive installations leverage sculpture, photography, and exhibition spaces to explore uncertainty, disorientation, sensorial limitation, and visual illusion. Her aesthetic centers not on prompting discomfort, but rather on triggering modes of perception that draw out the palpable, yet somehow ineffable, experience of presentness in space.

Úlfur Hansson’s multi-channel looping composition
(comprising this installation’s sonic arm) similarly functions
less as a soundscape and more like an active force that
orients the viewer’s awareness to the act of traversing the
exhibition space.

Elín Hansdóttir (b. 1980) is an Icelandic artist based in Reykjavík and Berlin and she currently holds a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien for the years 2021-2022. She holds a BA from Iceland Academy of the Arts and in 2006 she received her MA from Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin. Some of her recent shows include Open Studios at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany (2021), Iðavöllur: Icelandic Art in the 21st Century at the Reykjavík Art Museum in Reykjavík, Iceland (2021), Latent Shadow, and Portal at Harbinger Gallery in Reykjavík, Iceland (2020), and Glass and Concrete - Manifestations of the Impossible at Marta Herford in Herford, Germany (2020).  In 2021 she published the book Long Place documenting her 2005 installation Untitled for the Reykjavík Arts Festival. 

Elín's multidisciplinary practice combines sculpture, photography, and installation to create site-specific works that visually challenge the audience. Her immersive installations transform a place, reconfiguring the scale, geometry, or even its existence at all. Each of Elín’s works follows its own set of rules, constructing an individual world with physical and psychological effects on the viewer. In her works, she explores techniques such as optical illusions, labyrinthian tunnels, disorientation, and playful photography tricks. The unfamiliar physical realities of her installations invite the audience to question one’s own perception of space and time. 

Úlfur Hansson (b.1988) is an Icelandic musician, film composer, and sound artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He holds an MFA from Mills College in Oakland California. Úlfur has produced three solo albums, Arborescence (2017), which was nominated for the Kramer Prize in 2017, White Mountain (2013), which was nominated for the Kramer Prize in 2013, and Psalms (2008). Recent commissions have included works for the Tectonics festival curated by Ilan Volkov, The Icelandic Symphonic Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Radio France, and the Kronos Quartet. 

In addition to his solo work, Úlfur Hansson invented and created his own instrument, the Segulharpa, or in English, the Magnetic Harp. The instrument won the President’s Innovation Prize and Innovation Fund, as well as first place at the 2021 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, Georgia. A piece written for an early prototype of the magnetic harp earned him the award of Composer of the Year at the International Rostrum of Composers in 2013. The Segulharpa is an electromagnetic acoustic instrument, creating a unique sound that blends two worlds, the electronic and the acoustic. Inside the wooden structure are 24 strings that vibrate using electromagnets which are activated by touchpads on the front panel or remotely by computer. When activated, the strings release an ethereal hum, like a ghostly organ.