Elin Jakobsdóttir

Jakobsdóttir’s work

Jakobsdóttir’s work combines drawing, paper cut-outs, sculptural objects and experimental films shot in 16mm and Super-8. Her work translates the everyday world in terms of the subconscious.

Her short films play with situations that are extremely condensed, characterised by dramatic ellipses, still camera shots and distortions of time. A woman repeats the act of folding (Sleeping Bag), a child draws a ground plan from memory (Work Table). In these works the borders between the concrete world of fact and the dreamed or imagined world of the subconscious become blurred. The familiar everyday environment with its banal objects, table, bed and chair is the territory for exploring unanswered questions. The films are made in an almost documentary manner using non-actors that carry out familiar everyday actions. These actions are joined up by a poetic structure that is full of ambiguity and questions. In the film Models, commissioned by the Louvre Museum Paris in 2004, Jakobsdóttir takes these questions out of the private zone and into the public arena moving between an architect assembling and disassembling a cardboard model structure and the cultural models we inherit from the sculptures of antiquity.

Her films are accompanied by paper works and sculptural objects. Large-scale abstract paper cut-outs of amorphous forms resembling processes of thought and reverie are rendered in labour intensive improvisations using a blade to cut out shapes. The resulting optical effect is similar to the contemplation of a black and white negative; the empty space is activated and framed by the positive black ridges of the paper. This activated nothingness is a portal to the territory of the subconscious.

Recently Jakobsdóttir has exhibited props from her films which have in turn generated further sculptural works. Horsebox is a coffin-like wooden structure with four legs whose purpose is ambiguous. Echoing the form of a horse, it is also a container to carry a person lying down or sitting and when empty, becomes a kind of periscopic viewing box. It is the central prop for a film shot in Berlin where the functions and poetic possibilities of the object are explored through a mysterious narration. Horsebox follows a pathway laid by the subconscious through the city.

Slide show: 
Horsebox
Models still 2
Paper Cut-Out
Worktable still 1
Worktable still 2