NEW ICELANDER video work
Video / Audio / Performance: Freya Bjorg Olafson
In my New Icelander series I draw parallels between the cross-cultural experiences of my 19th century ancestors and my own present-day identity. In the creation of this work I referenced the Icelandic River Saga, written by Manitoba genealogist Nelson Gerrard, chronicling the history of the settlement of New Iceland, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the New Icelander series I manipulate both the visual images and stories within this “saga”; thereby interpreting history, figuratively resurrect my ancestors and in the process discovering and creating my own mythology.
1 ~ Land
* 4 minutes, 2007
*** notes on Land: My ancestor’s settled on a homestead called Nes along the Icelandic River in Manitoba. This land was an unmarked graveyard for approximately 80 Icelander’s who died of smallpox within the first years of settlement: 1875-76. Upon visiting this site for the first time this summer 2006, I was surprised to have direct encounters with unearthed graves and bones that were gradually being dragged to the basin of the river. The imagery in Land is as a result of this serendipitous connection with history resurfacing.