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With the irrational belief in beings like elves, Icelanders honor a balance of power in which man does not sit at the longer lever.

About the origin of the elves:

Once upon a time, Almighty God visited Adam and Eve. They received him with joy and showed him everything they had in the house. They also brought their children to him, and these he found promising and full of hope. Then he asked Eva if she had any other children than the ones she was now showing him. She said "none". But the fact was that she had not yet washed all of them, and because she was ashamed that God saw her dirty, she had hidden the unwashed ones. But God knew better, so he said to her: What man hides from God, God will hide from man. These unwashed children immediately became invisible and took up residence in mountains, hills and rocks. From these descended the elves, but we from Eve's children whom God had shown them. And only by the will and desire of the elves themselves can humans ever see them.


Huldumanna Genesis - Jón Árnason, I: 7, Sbr. JA III :



The wheel turns faster and faster from one technical revolution to the next. We have only been experiencing the blessing but also the curse of smartphones for just over 10 years. The Internet gives us access to all information, but despite knowing better, we hopelessly exploit our planet and are irretrievably in the process of changing the climate with unforeseeable consequences. Have we humans lost contact with our planet, with nature?

As an expression of a different connection to their environment, I am fascinated by the Icelanders, 54% of whom do not rule out the existence of mythical elves. Some of them do not seem to see themselves as the sole owners of the landscape, but also leave room for other ideas. They see elves as a ritualistic attempt to respect mountains, hills, rivers other than with a mere thought of utility. With the irrational belief in beings like elves, they honor a balance of power in which humans do not necessarily have the upper hand.

In my project 'Elfenfelsen' (Icelandic: Alfar Rokk) I wanted to show my respect for this spirit. On a tour of Iceland, I photographically interpreted rocks as the home of the alleged elves. Perhaps we should open our eyes and minds to see things in the natural world around us that we cannot explain scientifically, in order to have a greater respect for, and care for, nature again.

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