Installation at the SCULPTURE-SCULPTURE-SCULPTURE exhibition, Reykjavik Art Museum/Kjarvalsstadir, summer 1994

Series of questions about the image of the hero in a two part study of the fireman’s life. The first part consisted of the precise, two-dimensional and neutral information (photographs and explanatory texts) about the fire brigade’s equipment, foremen’s uniforms and the name, age, job title, educational background and length of service of each individual member on the A-shift of the Reykjavik Fire Brigade. The second part involved the emotional experience of the spectator in real space, by erecting a real fire brigade smoke training apartment which awaited visitors to the exhibition, without any information apart from what their sensory organs generated as the visitors took part in walking through the dim training space.
“Looking at the photographs the chamber was out of sight, while inside the chamber everything else was out of sight. […] It was as if Thorsteinsson had joined together representations of paired opposites, of vision and blindness, lucidity and obscurity, orderliness and instability, safety and risk, the real and the imaginary. The dark doorways were like a rift in the orderly line-up of photographs, a gap that broke the seamless confidence of a totalized and all encompassing vision.”

Gunnar J. Arnason, “The fireman’s Predicament” in Kritik Journalen, 1996

*Produced in collaboration with photographer Arnaldur Halldorsson

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