The Undigested World Itself

The Glade, 23000 digitally printed images, MDF board, dimensions variable

The main text of the following interview with Canadian artist Kristi Malakoff took place during her artist residency at SÍM, in Reykjavík, Iceland, in late 2006 through early 2007, and closes with postscript comments from the artist after having moved to Berlin in August. Kristi Malakoff grew up in Naramata, in the south Okanagan, and graduated from Penticton Secondary School in 1992. In 2001 she enrolled in Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, where she graduated with a BFA in 2005. Since then her art career has been on a steady ascendancy on a national, and an increasingly international scale.

Gary Pearson

You had a show at the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna in May; you were in a group show at Artspeak, in Vancouver, followed by solo shows in Calgary, and Toronto. And you managed to take a quick holiday jaunt down to Las Vegas prior to your flight to Reykjavík. What was it like to exit North America after this flurry of activity, and find yourself in Iceland?

Kristi Malakoff

It was great to finally land in Iceland. I have been thinking and dreaming of this country for years now, so it is
really something to be here at last. I had such a strong reaction when I first saw land, after crossing that big expanse of water. The southern landscape, on the way to Reykjavík, is unbelievably stark and unpopulated, and you can see wisps of steam from the hot springs rising up from the tundra all around.

Iceland falls directly on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and contains both the North American and the Eurasian Plates—both of which are constantly shifting—so it’s an incredibly dynamic place. In some places, in the centre of Iceland, you can look down between the plates—the earth has actually split open at this point. It’s the youngest country in the world, and is, in fact, still forming. In 1963, after a volcanic eruption, an entirely new island pushed to the surface, and it was subsequently named Surtsey. It’s truly a place like no other—a land of volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers,
geysers and hot springs...


Lake publishes fiction, poetry, critical essays, interviews, reviews and visual arts related to the environment.
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