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09.05.2011 - 12.05.2011


„ASKA“ the new art book by Thelma Herzl

Vienna’s most renowned museum for photography WestLicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie presents the latest work of Icelandic artist Thelma Herzl.
Where the eye usually just finds chaos and destruction, Thelma discovered fragile beauty at the edge of volcano Eyjafjallajökull. In her new book the volatile structures of an indefinite number of ash formations are connected to one unique body of work.
“ASKA” expands the conventional concept of ashes and creates entirely new perspectives and
unexpected associations.

Inspired by the financial crisis and the cloud of ash
The financial crisis that was simmering for quite a long time like a stream of lava before its breakout interestingly struck Iceland as one of the first countries. Like in a great volcanic eruption it destroyed an unbelievable number of financial assets as well as entire livelihoods on the island and around the world.
One year later the little island in the north Atlantic showed the world once more the incredible natural forces that emanate from within it. Volcano Eyjafjallajökull ejected a mile high cloud of ash into the sky and almost paralyzed the entire European air traffic for the better part of a week.
When Thema Herzl came to Iceland in the summer of 2010, inspired by these two world-shaking events, she discovered unexpected ash formations at the edge of the volcano and was immediately captivated by their mysticism and unique beauty.

Positive forces of renewal
The photographs and the resulting art book “ASKA” do not just create new perspectives and associations of these two events but they also imply careful optimism and let the viewer realize that new things spring from the originally destructive ashes - and do so in unforeseen vitality.

Thelma Herzl
Thelma was born and raised in Reykjavik. After years in Copenhagen, Paris and London she finally moved to Austria in the early 1970’s.
Experiencing the Icelandic landscape in her childhood is the foundation of her aesthetic development. Her furniture designs of the 1980’s and 90’s are already strongly influenced by the distinct frugality and the strong contrasts of the volcanic island.
Subsequently Thelma created paintings, collages and sculptural objects made of metal that found international recognition.

In 2003 her land art project “Metal Dreams” brought Thelma back to Iceland and its volcanic landscape. The resulting large-scale photo prints were exhibited at Neue Galerie Graz and Mimara Museum in Zagreb. The book of the same name was nominated for the German photo book prize in 2004.
Subsequently Thelma started to focus more on photography. After a number solo exhibitions she now presents her newest work “ASKA” at Fotomuseum WestLicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie, Vienna in May 2011.

Event: Book presentation / Vernissage „ASKA“ von Thelma Herzl
Location: WestLicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie
Westbahnstraße 40, 1070 Wien,
Date: May 9th 2011 / 19:00 Uhr / 19:30 Speech by Roman Grabner
Duration: 10.5 - 12.5.2011