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VERONIKA GEIGER

Hraun 2016

“When I started to focus on landscape photography my idea was to make landscape images that came closer to my experience of being in a landscape. I wanted to focus on the connection and intimacy I felt when I was walking and spending extensive periods of time in nature. The frame I set for myself, was to make images that had a different entry point than the classical landscape photography genre. I removed the camera and started to experiment with photograms. At a visit to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, I discovered
the thin sections. It is a geological tool normally used for studying the chemical composition and internal structure of lava rocks under a microscope. It is basically a thin slice of rock that is glued with epoxy onto a piece of glass and sanded down until it is transparent. I went immediately to the darkroom and started to experiment with it.

The mix between being a concrete tool for research and a potential material for artistic language was very exciting to me. To make the actual enlargement I use the classical printing technique in the darkroom along with a lot of experimentation! I guess it was not really before I decided to scale up, that I found some of that intimacy and wildness I felt in the landscapes of Iceland.

My processes are on the one hand very intuitive and on the other hand rational and facts based. Just a side note to my process of working in the darkroom: I worked in complete darkness, because the red light can create some light pollution, when the exposures are long during enlargement onto a big piece of paper. Working in totally darkness I found myself working much more freely and less focused on perfection. I have for instance cut the paper very fast and intuitively, then attached it to a board on the wall, all without being able to see clearly what my hands were doing, so nothing is really straight.

To me, this process became very liberating. I choose to keep this expression and the process is now part of the image, because I like this rawness, like in nature. The images are made in a period where I was totally immersed in the landscapes of Iceland. Perhaps you can say that the process of making the works is a kind of dance for me. I danced with the images - the large paper - and celebrated the intense power and raw energy I felt in the Icelandic landscape.”

V.G.

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Conglomerate diptych, 2021

Rock type: Igneous lava rock.

Left: Mount Esja, Iceland, 3.2 million years old.

Right: Holuhran, Iceland, 2 million years old

Sections of rocks preserved at the Institute of Earth Sciences,

University of Iceland

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Hraun, n°6285, 2016

Rock type: gabbro xenoliths from a siliceous tuff, 10 million years old

Petrographic section preserved at the Natural History Institute of Iceland

Hraun, n°8683, 2016

Rock type: lava rock, between 2,400
and 11,000 years old

Petrographic section preserved at the Natural History Institute of Iceland

Courtesy Veronika Geiger, Aarhus, 2022

Veronika Geiger is a Danish / Swiss artist who lives in Aarhus. She did her BA in Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art and graduated with an MA from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2016. Since then, she has continued to develop her work between art and geology. Her interest in landscape and time has naturally led her to geology and she now often works in the interdisciplinary field between artistic and scientific research. In her study of lava stones and volcanic landscapes she has taken part in field trips to Holuhraun, Iceland (2016 and 2017) and an expedition to Etna, Sicily (2018). She has exhibited internationally in such countries as Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, United Kingdom, US, Mexico, Latvia, Russia and China. Recent and upcoming projects include Imprint at Velje Kunstmuseum and in January 2022 a solo exhibition at Galleri Image in Aarhus.

Veronika Geiger

Born in 1987

Lives and works in Aarhus

https://veronikageiger.com

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© Barbara Katzin