If you’ve ever been struck by the stunning landscapes of Iceland, and we’re betting that you have, then the current exhibit at Listastofan is not one to miss. At this hole-in-the-wall gallery on the west side of Reykjavík, France-based photographer Réza Kalfane has lined the walls with black-and-white prints of waterfalls, glaciers and rivers that draw you suddenly out of yourself—and testify to the contrasts of this stunning island.
In an endearing twist, the exhibit—simply titled ‘Ísland’—doubles as the launch of Réza’s first photography book of the same name. The book is the centrepiece, with the images orbiting around it: to stroll through the gallery is to inhabit the book itself.
Réza masterfully employs light and shadow to create a world where Iceland’s iconic natural forces emerge out of darkness. Waterfalls appear to stand on their own, independent creatures born from a void. Your sense of scale is distorted—one image could easily depict an ice floe or an entire river delta. Snowbanks appear as pyramids, mountains become the shoulders of giants, and rivers evoke thread or tree branches. The fluidity of the elements and the life of the land are marvellously revealed.
The book is a work of art unto itself: peaks and fields shine in silver ink against black paper. Its play with form and formlessness strips Iceland down to a raw core of water, stone, wind, verticality and movement.
As photographer Ragnar Axelsson reminds us in the book’s forward, Réza’s pictures might appear otherworldly, but they depict our own planet—and our only home.
‘Ísland’ remains at Listastofan until Monday, May 7. On the evening of Sunday, May 6, Réza will sign books at 16:00. Drinks will follow at 18:00.
You can purchase Réza’s book at Listastofan or on his website.