Midnight Reykjavík #5
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© Soo Kim

Soo Kim
American, negative 2005, printed 2007
Layered, hand-cut chromogenic print
48 x 48 in.

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This is one of twelve works that make up the series Midnight Reykjavíik. It is made up of two photographic prints that were hand cut and then layered, one upon the other, and mounted between sheets of Plexiglas. By slicing into the prints' surfaces, Soo Kim added a surreal quality to the skeletal outlines of this urban environment, in which traces of nature such as trees and water improbably poke through interior spaces.

Intrigued by reports of Reykjavík's compact scale and rich folklore, Soo Kim traveled to Iceland's capital city in 2005. After exploring the pedestrian friendly city, she selected a rooftop vantage point that provided access to condensed views of the brightly painted homes lining narrow streets and sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains and sea. Adjusting the focus of her handheld 2 1/4-inch format camera, she rotated 360 degrees in a counterclockwise direction to create a loosely structured panorama. Taken at midnight during the summer solstice, the photographs introduce elements of uncertainty into a city that appears brightly lit but eerily still.