The Earth Has Many Keys | Katie Paterson
NYLO, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland, 13 March – 24 April 2021

Katie Paterson‘s works are immense, both in terms of scope and inspiration. Her ideas frequently involve transposing the immeasurable into familiar forms, such as clocks, letters, candles and light bulbs. Characterized by a poetic sense of the everyday, her work captures the expanses of outer space and of the human mind, playfully provoking and enthralling us.

The Earth Has Many Keys brings the universe closer to us. The exhibition travels billions of years back in time, and almost a hundred years forward. We smell the ozone layer, listen as stars die and observe preserved remains of animals and plants that flourished before the formation of the continents. The duration of day and night on Jupiter is set in context with time here on Earth.

The title of the exhibition, borrowed from a poem by Emily Dickinson, indicates that the earth is the basis for our knowledge of nature, time, change, the universe and ourselves. At the same time we are reminded that there is a lot left undiscovered. The Earth Has Many Keys mirrors the artist’s boundless curiosity, who more often than not works together with scientists and scholars around the world to peek beyond the limits of our horizon. At the same time Katie Paterson’s works serve as an urgent reminder, challenging us to rethink our relationship with nature. 

The Earth Has Many Keys at The Living Art Museum is Katie Paterson’s first exhibition in Iceland. The exhibition is part of the Reykjavík Art Festival.