Limited Edition of 250 copies, signed
195 x 202 mm
“They have to sell and leave, they cannot go like that any more”… my husband told me one evening some 5 years ago after hanging up the phone with his parents
Ásta and Gústi moved to Laugarás in 1967 to continue on their parent’s tradition of greenhouse farming. Ásta’s parents, were the first ones to settle and build greenhouses in the area where four generations of Sælands lived till now. For 53 years Gústaf and Ásta persisted with the family business but this was not attainable any more due to their old age. They had to give up their property and move out of the area, ending a family thread that lasted for almost a century.
The book reflects upon elements of loss and persistence that are prevalent in Icelandic culture through documenting the history of the Sælands in Laugarás and combining archival photographs from the family and new images made from 2017 to 2021.
The story unfolds in 4 chapters, starting from the place that the Sælands inhabited, how they turned it into fertile land through hard labour in the greenhouses, their life in the house that they lived for half a century, forcing the reader to slowly unfold and discover that life through mirrors and windows, and closing with documenting where the family lives now and their links with their past.
Stills from the video accompanying the project are combined in the epilogue with my own thoughts, reflections of the family on their life in Laugarás and a brief note on the history of Icelandic greenhouse farming.
The dimensions of the book record the year the family arrived in Laugarás and the year they left.
About the Artist
Vassilis was born in Greece and is currently living in Amsterdam. He comes from a scientific background and after completing a doctorate in medical biology, he turned to photography which he now combines alongside his career in medical research. He is using his scientific background to build associations and reveal commonalities in the way biological and social systems behave and function. He is interested in how natural laws apply and are manifested in social mechanisms and patterns of behavior. Central themes in his work are the emerging properties of social groups that derive from congregation of individual members, the translation of evolution, mutations and change on a social level, and the effects of social environments on personal traits. His practice explores how photography can be used to reveal the unseen interface between social and natural systems.
He has worked for the 7 fingers, the Ballet National de Marseille, and Dimitris Papaioannou. His work was included in The New Dutch Talent catalogue of 2017 from GUP magazine, and in the Encontros da Imagem 2017 festival program, while his project Point of View was shortlisted for FotoFilmic18. He was selected as a participating artist in the Futures Photography 2020 cycle.