Placemakers

2007

Curators Without borders Gallery Berlin

curated by Christine Nippe

catalogue text by Christine Nippe

​

Elín Jakobsdóttir’s work Horsebox is based on a collage of photographs and storyboard-drawings. The subtle lines of her drawings and her photographs taken in the streets of Wedding speak about her approach to combine observations of the everyday with a sensitive historic research. Elín Jakobsdóttir’s space tactic is dedicated to the reconstruction of the urban site while simultaneously creating a mysterious narration which takes us deeper and deeper into the history of the city. The broad cobbled streets of Watt Straße and Volta Straße surrounding the Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft in Wedding were once built for the passage of heavy vehicles. Abandoned and almost silent, their signs recall a past of intense industrial activity. The A.E.G. was the biggest manufacturer of electricity generators in Northern Europe. The largest employer of labour in North Berlin from the late 19th century until World War II, it was also the site of violent clashes between far left and far right factions during the Nazi period. 

In her work two men carry an ambiguous object echoing the form of a horse through the streets of Wedding. The whole atmosphere is characterized by a shimmering white light. We dig into an urban landscape which asks us riddles. Why are these men carrying this object? What are they searching for in these deserted streets? 

Elín Jakobsdóttir explains her interest in the history of this district: “The vast empty precincts of this industrial complex presented me with a structure for a film. Within this residue world of labor and production questions about the meaning of work and the permanence of manmade objects arose. In Wedding one often sees furniture lying in the street for someone else to pick up. In the storyboard, the life of the object is charted by its passage through the streets. The progression from its construction to its being discarded follows a pathway laid by the subconscious through the city.” 

​

C.N.2007