DEN FRIE REFINED

04.12.2021

For their collaborative work, DEN FRIE REFINED (2014), Bjarnadóttír and Hansdóttir turn their interests to the architecture of the Den Frie Center for Contemporary Art, for which the video was originally conceived. An image of the large rotunda of Den Frie is printed onto a curtain, which is hung as a backdrop so that it appears within the filmic frame to be an actual three-dimensional space itself. The two-channel video begins with a woman entering the rotunda and then pulling the curtain with the printed image of the same rotunda and dragging it across the filmic frame. Once the architectural double is established, the body, too, is doubled—each channel shows a woman in the same outfit walking through the same space, but the scenes are different in other ways: the lighting, the length of the woman’s hair, the timing of her movements, and the exact position of the camera are all slightly askew. This mimesis is held in a deliberate tension, at times disrupted, but more often believed; the simultaneity of the two channels creates a mirrored effect. Now displaced from its original site, DEN FRIE REFINED speaks to the function of architecture within memories—as a general awareness or image of a place that may not be identical to the space itself. In addition, because the two channels were evidently filmed at different times, the viewer might imagine the woman rehearsing and tracing her own steps to attempt to recreate a remembered path, and might observe that her relative speed is measured by displacement over time.

DEN FRIE REFINED