Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to announce the representation of Maroesjka Lavigne with Ísland, her first solo exhibition at the gallery. At the age of 21, the young Belgian photographer Lavigne spent four months driving alone across Iceland, pulled to the stark scenery. Yet rather than observing a poetic landscape of azure springs and silent snow, Lavigne's bold, cinematic images tell a tale of an out-of-the-ordinary everyday.
Moments of unexpected familiarity jibe with unconquerable strangeness: a suburban street sleeps under rust-red night sky; an arctic fox perches unperturbed in slat-fenced Reykjavík backyard. White-capped mountain mounds bump against villages in a vision more akin to Candyland than Iceland, while half-melted snowmen form a small Stonehenge on a soccer field. Flights of fancy, however, are punctuated by Lavigne's haunting portraits of people met along the way—like characters in a silent film, they flicker between nostalgia and sudden, striking tangibility.
And everywhere, always, are shades of white. Snow becomes an amorphous studio backdrop, indeterminate but infinitely malleable. It swallows ground and sky; coats buses, boats, and intrepid sight-seers; and then transforms again into a bleached sink basin, chalky house paint, and a plume of white steam. In Ísland the world may be pale, but life is anything but colorless.
Lavigne's Ísland series was selected by Foam Magazine as a finalist in the prestigious Foam Talent Call, has won a LensCulture New & Emerging Photographers Grand Prize, and was previously shown at the 2012 Photo Academy Awards and the Unseen Photo Fair in the Netherlands. The artist's work has also been featured in The New York Times Style Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, and the FOAM Magazine Talent issue. Lavigne lives and works in Ghent, Belgium, and graduated with a Masters in Photography from Ghent University in 2012.