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part of the New Icelander series    

5m 11s    

Video | Audio | Performance: Freya Olafson


format available:

Beta, Mini DV, DVD (NTSC or PAL)


Completed in 2007


In my New Icelander series I draw parallels between the cross-cultural experiences of my 19th century ancestors and my own present-day identity. In the creation of this work I referenced the Icelandic River Saga, written by Manitoba genealogist Nelson Gerrard, chronicling the history of the settlement of New Iceland, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the New Icelander series I manipulate both the visual images and stories within this “saga”; thereby interpreting history, figuratively resurrect my ancestors and in the process discovering and creating my own mythology.


*** notes on Land: My ancestor’s settled on a homestead called Nes along the Icelandic River in Manitoba. This land was an unmarked graveyard for approximately 80 Icelander’s who died of smallpox within the first years of settlement: 1875-76. Upon visiting this site for the first time this summer 2006, I was surprised to have direct encounters with unearthed graves and bones that were gradually being dragged to the basin of the river. The imagery in Land is as a result of this serendipitous connection with history resurfacing. 


Screening History:

2017   Âjagemô gallery - Canada Council for the Arts - exhibition 'Thunderstruck: Physical       

Landscapes' curated by Jenn Goodwin - Ottawa, Ontario


2017   Fédération Culturelle Canadienne-Française 40th Anniversary Gala - Winnipeg, Manitoba


2010   ContainR “Land” - screened during the Olympics (Vancouver, Canada)

2010   Nordic Arts Alliance / Minnesota State University (Fargo / NorthDakota, Moorehead / Minnesota)


2010   OFFTA (Montreal) 


2010  Winnipeg Art Gallery ' Subconscious City' curated by Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan (Wpg, Mb)


2009   Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival (Fargo / NorthDakota, Moorehead / Minnesota)

2008   Akureyrarvaka (Akureyri, Iceland)

2008   Drake Hotel as part of “A Taste of Iceland” (Toronto, Ontario)


2008   D:MIC, Dance: Made in Canada Biennial at the Betty Oliphant Theater (Toronto, Ontario)


2007   O.K. Centrum | Transart Institute  (Linz, Austria)


2007   núna (now) Festival (Winnipeg, Manitoba)


Contact Freya for the password to view the work online



The development of this series is generously supported by the Manitoba Arts Council, The Winnipeg Arts Council and Video Pool Media Arts Center.

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