Yogan Müller

Hraun IV (Run Before Nature's Dawn, Iceland), 2018-2019

Another dive in the Icelandic archive I've created over the past four years.

As a side note, I may add : with the title Run Before Nature's Dawn, I try to capture poetically the impossible encounter with what tourism relentlessly promotes to millions of tourists each year: pristine Icelandic nature. In fact, most of its qualities are consumed in impeccable brochures, smartphones displays, volumes of jet fuel, cheap snacks or scheduled round-tours.

With that title, I also try to point at the bustling economic activity the boom in tourism pushed by nature based tourism. According to the Icelandic Tourist Board, the figures are at an high an all-time high. In other words, the transformative pressure on "nature" has never been so intense. So is the "race" leading to it. Thus, the idea of a Nature's Dawn, that magnificent renaissance, before which we are frantically running, in a sort of trough, hence without an experience of what nature really is due to the thoroughly mediated experience of the Icelandic "pristine" landscape.

Yet, on the rough lava terrain of the Reykjanes peninsula it is also quite clear that the great symbolic force associated with nature is quite an agency of its own. In the event of a volcanic eruption or a serious earthquake, it wouldn't take very long, for example, to see the metabolism of Reykjavík substantially hampered.

The pictures that are presented and sequenced here follow that train of thoughts. They point at the forms this run before nature's dawn have generated around the Reykjavík metropolitan area. By leaning neither toward an excess of description nor explanation, they explore the mediated experience of the Icelandic nature using the very medium through which it currently disappears.

I've been there and done that too.

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