Image: Arild Tveito and Gavin Morrison, Sunnudagur, 29. September 1912, 2018. (Detail)
This print for Foss Editions, Seyðisfjörður and Widowed Swan is a translation into Icelandic of an entry in the journal of David Hume Pinsent (1891-1918) who traveled with his friend the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) to Iceland in 1912. The entry for Sunday, 29th September 1912 is from when their ship stopped in Seyðisfjörður in the east of Iceland. Pinsent mentions the landscape and northern lights, yet the words allude to more than is expressed. Wittgenstein’s successes in logic are not described, the photographs taken by Pinsent, are now lost.
As much as the words reveal, they also obscure. The description becomes a near-isolated totality, as Wittgenstein says in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922): “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”. The work is an echo of this linguistic exiling, banishing this single entry, and having it translated into the language of the place of which it speaks. The original entry in English was translated to Icelandic by Þorbergur Þórsson, who previously translated Wittgenstein for publication in Iceland.
The edition is a letterpress print on a heavy weight cotton paper, printed on a proof press at The Technical Museum of East Iceland, Seyðisfjörður.