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Icelandic Mineral Sample 18 2005

Ilana Halperin (born 1973, Iceland)

Icelandic Mineral Sample 18
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Copyright: Copyright The Artist; Image courtesy of the Artist and doggerfisher, Edinburgh

"A man named Mike at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow examined a crystal shard found in October 2003 on the crest of the Eldfell volcano. He decided the specimen was either a piece of quartz from deep inside the earth that came up during the eruption and covered in a thin slip of molten rock. Or a shard of glass from a window pane which shattered as lava filled a house and later caught in the tread of someone's boot and prised loose by magma as they worked to save the harbour". (Ilana Halperin, Label text; Nomadic Landmass, Doggerfisher, Edinburgh, 2005). For the most part, humanity rests comfortable in the thought that geological inquiry interrogates passages of time which are almost unfathomably of the 'not now'. Our experience of the geological 'now' is too apocalyptic to be confronted more closely than through the newsman's telescopic lens; earthquake, volcano and landslide all put before us challenges to our sense that geology is something that happened in the mists of time and humanity, by contrast, is what is happening now. There are, however, places on the planet where the relationship between the human and the geological undergoes a seismic shift; geologist or not, to take a journey through the landscape of Iceland is to realise that geological time is indefatigably 'now'. For an artist to make such a journey is to realise that cataclysmic human events, even at the most personal level, conceal and manifest themselves no less enigmatically in the individual than do the processes of geology in the shard, collected by Halperin, from the crest of the Eldfell volcano. The very encounter with a living landmass confounds our daily assumptions about relationships with our pasts, our presents and our futures. Once among the lava flows and steaming craters, geological process manifests itself as less cataclysmic entropy than creative energy - past catching up with future, the forces of entropy fusing with those of creativity.' Mungo Campbell, extracts from 'Journey through the surface of the Earth', published to accompany Ilana Halperin's art/science research residency, Nomadic Landmass (London), Camden Arts Centre, 2005.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from doggerfisher, Edinburgh, 2005
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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