The last of the ARoS Focus//New Nordic exhibitions for the year 2017 features video works by the Icelandic composer and video artist Dodda Maggý. In her art, she works with a dreamlike and sensuous imagery at the intersection between visual culture theory, film, and music. She draws on effects known from classical cinema – for one thing when she uses music as an instrument to bring out underlying parts of stories. She is noted for creating sequences with a great fondness for the craftsmanship of films and with a musical sensibility in which sound and image coalesce in an inseparable unity.
In the exhibition, one meets projections of psychedelic patterns that spread across the picture plane in kaleidoscopic formations. They look like computer-generated fractals but have been produced by tangible, manual, sedentary craftsmanship. The individual images are repeated and copied in infinity – by hand – so that the trivial iterations of the craftsmanship take form as some sort of hallucination. These hallucinations flicker in meditative courses of images, like the visual disorders caused by either pain or relief which some will know from bouts of migraine in particular.
The exhibition also shows Hollywood and opera divas, for example a glittering full-size glamour woman who at the same time represents a fragile portrayal of women in which Dodda Maggý plays the leading part. Dodda Maggý is fascinated by the tragic heroines of film and opera history. Heroines who simultaneously are strong and vulnerable. The independent type of woman who at the same time wants to be admired, coveted and maybe even saved. It is this opposition between independence and reliance that occupies Dodda Maggý in her depictions of women.
In Dodda Maggý’s musical film compositions, one constantly gets the sensation that something is going on beneath the surface; that some deeper meaning is at play. Like in the first Twin Peaks series in which a considerable amount of the narrative is portrayed through sound and in which every character has an individual and recognisable audio track that gives the impression that things are not quite what they seem.