An evocative chronicle of the power of solitude in the natural
world I'm often asked, but have no idea why I chose Iceland, why I
first started going, why I still go. In truth I believe Iceland
chose me.-from the introduction Contemporary artist Roni Horn first
visited Iceland in 1975 at the age of nineteen, and since then, the
island's treeless expanse has had an enduring hold on Horn's
creative work. Through a series of remarkable and poetic
reflections, vignettes, episodes, and illustrated essays, Island
Zombie distills the artist's lifelong experience of Iceland's
natural environment. Together, these pieces offer an unforgettable
exploration of the indefinable and inescapable force of remote,
elemental places, and provide a sustained look at how an island and
its atmosphere can take possession of the innermost self. Island
Zombie is a meditation on being present. It vividly conveys Horn's
experiences, from the deeply profound to the joyful and absurd.
Through powerful evocations of the changing weather and other
natural phenomena-the violence of the wind, the often aggressive
birds, the imposing influence of glaciers, and the ubiquitous
presence of water in all its variety-we come to understand the
author's abiding need for Iceland, a place uniquely essential to
Horn's creative and spiritual life. The dramatic surroundings
provoke examinations of self-sufficiency and isolation, and these
ruminations summon a range of cultural companions, including El
Greco, Emily Dickinson, Judy Garland, Wallace Stevens, Edgar Allan
Poe, William Morris, and Rachel Carson. While brilliantly
portraying nature's sublime energy, Horn also confronts issues of
consumption, destruction, and loss, as the industrial and man-made
encroach on Icelandic wilderness. Filled with musings on a secluded
region that perpetually encourages a sense of discovery, Island
Zombie illuminates a wild and beautiful Iceland that remains
essential and new.
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