SANJA PAHOKI: To The Centre of The Earth and Back (Iceland)

11 October to 10 November 2012

Sarah Scout is delighted to present To The Centre of The Earth and Back (Iceland) by Sanja Pahoki, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

In July of this year Pahoki travelled to Germany and Scandinavia, undertaking a road trip through Iceland. This was the artist’s third visit to Scandinavia since her first studio residency in Iceland in 2008, and To The Centre of The Earth and Back (Iceland) comprises photographs taken on these recent travels.

The exhibition continues Pahoki’s exploration of the passage of time and her navigation of the distance between memory and reality. Whilst continuing the artist’s love affair with Scandanavia, the exhibition also puts truth to the adage ‘you can never go back’.

In Berlin, ‘for old time’s sake’, Pahoki visits the Berlin Zoo, expecting to find a memorial to Knut, the popular polar bear who died in his enclosure of a brain haemorrhage in 2011. Instead she finds Knut replaced by two brown bears, or as one of her photographs suggests, by people in bearsuits – as if no one might notice the difference. This disjuncture between nature and artifice that pervades Pahoki’s photographs is heightened by their installation against the highly keyed colour of the gallery walls, painted by Pahoki for the exhibition.

To The Centre of the Earth and Back (Iceland) calls to mind the opening lines of L.P. Hartley’s 1953 novel The Go-Between: ‘The past is another country: they do things differently there’. However, even while traveling through faraway places in her search for inspiration, Pahoki concedes she can only photograph what is actually there.

Sanja Pahoki uses everyday mediums to make observations around anxieties from everyday life. She completed her Master of Fine Art in 2006 at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) where she currently lectures in the Photography Department. Pahoki has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally including exhibitions most recently at The Substation and Lowrise Projects in Melbourne. She was a committee member of Kings Artist Run Initiative and studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces (2007/08). In 2008 Pahoki attended a studio residency in Reykjavik, Iceland and in 2010 she returned to Scandinavia to undertake an Australia Council studio residency in Helsinki, Finland. Her most recent trip to Iceland took place in July of this year; her first visit during the middle of Summer, a time of almost perpetual daylight in Iceland.

Past Exhibitions, Sanja Pahoki