In the main hall at Hafnarborg, the art and cultural institute of Hafnarfjörður, Spessi is displaying his latest series of photographs, entitled Locations. As the name suggests, the subjects are various locations from all around the country. During a two-year period, Spessi, a leading Icelandic photographer, hit the road with only his camera as company and scouted for things that caught his eye.
“These pictures are snapshots of all sorts of locations. Basic photos that could be seen as short stories” Spessi explains. A main characteristic of Spessi’s photos is the way they reject any exaggeration or idealization, instead managing to show a given place just the way it is, regardless of whether it’s fascinating and exciting to look at or not. The small pub at Kárahnjúkar dam and the workers living conditions, Örn Clausen’s legal office, empty kitchens, jam-packed storages, a tiny gas station at Borðeyri village as well as farms, meadows and mountains criss-crossing around the country are a few examples of locations Spessi found on the way. Mixing man made environment and unspoiled nature, the exhibition gives its viewers a chance to imagine what interesting stories each spot has to tell.
Spessi is currently busy planning the publishing of a new book, also entitled Locations, which will feature photos from the exhibition as well as almost 200 more there weren’t room for on Hafnarborg’s walls. The book is being designed by world renowned artists in New York who have years’ long experience in working for certain notable companies (designing shoes for Puma and animating for MTV). The book will hit the shelves in Iceland shortly after Christmas.
Hafnarborg, Strandgata 34. Open 11-17 every day of the week, except Tuesdays closed. Entrance free on Fridays.