Winner of “The 10th LVMH young artists” prestigious award, Thomsen (born 1973, Reykjavik) makes us aware of an apparent paradox of contemporary photography, this is the rejection of traditional photographic paper as a document and its transition towards the photograph as mise-en-scène, the natural versus the artificial. This paradox coexists in his work in a truly surprising and free-flowing manner.
The reference to the “Icelandic Series” by Olafur Eliasson the Dane is almost inevitable, nevertheless, Thomsen’s approach to his own country is absolutely original, giving it an apparently icy poetry which, on the contrary, talks to us with passion for a land with open scars, wounded by machines, intruding on a natural setting of earthly and volcanic purity that is sublime and religious, sacred and unviolated… until now.
Thomsen has set up his camera to make us the steadfast witnesses to the building of the Kárahnjúkar dam, a multimillion dollar construction project of titanic proportions, constructed for the exclusive use of the largest aluminium manufacturer in the world. The title of the series, “Imported Landscape”, acts as a metaphor for the environmental attacks that we know so well in the rest of Europe, translated with mechanical and shocking precision into the Icelandic landscape which, unfortunately, has nothing to envy of the rest of damaged or intervened landscapes elsewhere. Nevertheless Thomsen takes a step further than just denouncing this fact. The frame, the light, the colour and the material transport us to an “imported planet” on an outward bound journey with no apparent return.
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