Reflecting on the many relationships between photography, painting, traditional gilding techniques, cultural history, ancient mythology and tribal cosmologies – the monograph Some Are Born To Endless Night – Dark Matter brings together over seventy works Lina Iris Viktor’s oeuvre. Works such as Dark Continent, in which the artist poses herself playing the role of myriad characters, although her body appears nude in most images – the figure isn’t sexualised – the reading provokes thought towards a universal form, further amplified through the magic of what happens when Viktor plays with materials. The forms, tones, and images are reanimated and become lifelike – the glare of the eyes; the shrouded figure hunched over; the multitude tones of black – by delicately gilding details such as the sun imagined angel wings and small plant life these mixed media works come alive once more.
The size and format of the book take their cues from The Dark Continent body of work. Each decision is made as a collaboration between the artist and editor – Renée Mussai, and follows a particular set of ideas that are all inspired or taken from the works itself. Alongside these multifaceted works, it is the essays that accompany this publication which glean fascinating in particular writing by Yrsa Daley Ward. She offers a poetic illumination and provocation that reflects back on each work and take us as a viewer into another world that allows us to enter the work in another way. This is a publication I had the pleasure of seeing grow and come to fruition. It is another I have had to come back to multiple times to understand the complex relations between the histories entwined within the works; the artists uses of gold; and the mythological reflections Viktor nods towards.