Artist Talk with Spessi, Haraldur Jónsson, and Pétur Thomsen


*Moderated by Celina Lunsford, Artistic Director, Fotografie Forum Frankfurt*

Three very different artists from Iceland have spoken about their work in the current exhibition, “Frontiers of Another Nature” at the Frankfurter Kunstverein. The central theme of the talk centered on how man defines natural and human-altered environments.

Panelists include: photographer and filmmaker Spessi, known for his portrait-like depictions of landscapes, factories, and building facades; Haraldur Jónsson, whose series TSOYL (The Story
of Your Life) invites consideration through its combination of highly personal and objective encounters with natural and man-made environments; and Pétur Thomsen, whose “Imported Landscapes” reveal the recklessness of man’s interventions in nature in making available cheap energy.

*SPESSI* (*1956), whose official name is Sigurtór Hallbjörnsson, studied photography in Holland at the Vrie Akademie in The Hague until 1990 and at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Enschede until 1994. Since 1996 his photographs have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Iceland, various European cities, and in New York. Four books have been published on his work, “Location” (2007), “Bensín” (1999), “Chicken Fajitas in the Manner of Google, Mexican Corn Soup, and Chocolate Ice Cream” (2008), and “The CEO of today” (2008).

*Haraldur Jónsson* (*1961) attended L’Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris and the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts before moving to Düsseldorf in 1990 to take a master class at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He works with drawing, prints, sculpture, sound, light, and video. He has also published poems and prose, and takes photographs. His photo-series TSOYL (The Story of Your Life) (2010), published in book form by Úturdúr, highlights the close and complicated link between the individual and reality, time and memory.

*Pétur Thomsen* (*1973) can certainly be described as the “shooting star” of Iceland’s current photography scene. He studied art history and archaeology at the Université de Montpellier before turning to photography at the Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques in 1999. He completed his studies in 2004, receiving his degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles.