When Róska was a young star in Reykjavík, Barbara Árnason decorated her nails the way women in Turkey did in former times – which is where incessantly travelling British gentlewomen first became acquainted with the practice. Ten magnificent pictures, so tiny that binoculars might be needed to enlarge the proximity, like people use binoculars to enlarge the distance. I was thinking something about these decorated nails when I went closer to Eggert Pétursson’s painting in his studio, I felt I was entering it and that the painting and its author were one; to put it mildly. The painting was done on location, though the place didn’t exist – perhaps a spider painted the work: wove the square with colours.
With the lens as a weapon or as searching device,
(in our splendid times the words have merged to become weapon search)
Friederike von Rauch scans walls, abandoned rooms, corners, landscape, and senses and gets wind of an echo of an echo of a memory. The spider is gone if it was here and didn’t leave any footprints or a web but still keeps tickling the eye. The hunting trip (the search) ends nowhere/never – we experience the end of the memories – the echo is out of earshot and it hangs here: on the wall.
Friederike’s optical eye pierces a long forgotten memory that bleeds my eye; the ray of light = lightsaver. An eye hunts with tenderness and finds the (sweet?) nightmare.
The day after I leave Eggert’s studio and close the books with Friederike’s photographs, I sit in a circular airport window and paint my nails yellow. A woman takes a seat next to me and I tell her about Barbara’s nails, about Eggert’s painting, we talk about glasses and telescopes, small places and large.
She says: “Eggert should paint your nails.”
Then we stand up and crawl in through an oval door.
I think: Eggert should paint Friederike’s nails. What type of lenses would she use for the photo shoot?
- Kristín Ómarsdóttir