Vala Kjarval

Vala Kjarval (b. 1991) is a dual citizen of both the United States and Iceland. Raised on a farm in upstate New York, she now lives and works in New York City and constantly smells of C41. She received her BA in Film & Photography in 2013, with concentrations in cinematography and social realistic film theory. The on-going series “Að Vera Til” first started alongside her thesis 16mm film of the same title has been featured online and exhibited in Atelier de Koekkoek’s The Ones We Love Exhibition (Vienna, Fall 2014) and in Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (NY, Fall 2013). Today we take a look at Vala’s series Að Vera Til.

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Að Vera Til (2012)

“Photographing my family is a way of exploring my own identity as an Icelandic American. There is a sense of alienation of being a dual citizen, leaving one never completely whole in either place. Images part of the series includes the family farm in Upstate, NY and visiting my father’s hometown of Reykjavík. The series was originally initiated to analyze the potency of the American Dream and a harsh criticism of the climate of opportunities available in American Farming today. It has expanded to my parent’s complicated role as immigrants and further developed into a study of how complicated life is in general and the pain and beauty that comes with it. Ultimately I work towards representing stories of all my subjects through a sympathetic yet objective lens with hope that viewers relate on a basic human level.”

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To view more of Vala’s work please visit her website.



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