Gregor Kallina, Iron Heart

Curator: Marga Rotteveel


North of the Arctic Circle, the Swedish city of Kiruna owes its existence to a state-owned mining company and finds itself existentially threatened by these very same excavations. Each portion of ore taken out of the mine is followed by a waste rock falling from above, causing the ground to sink gradually and creating deformations at ground level. In 2004 the municipality of Kiruna started a unique project to move the city centre and its cultural heritage buildings three kilometres away to different sites by building a new centre from scratch. The first building to be completed in the new area was the city hall in 2018.

This visual story shows the often paradoxical relationship between the mine and the city. The city only exists because of the mine, and at the same time, people are forced to start a new existence somewhere else due to the mining operations. At the moment there is a mixture of grief and hope prevailing: people have to take their memories that were tied to places with them and trust the vision of a place that does not exist yet. In Kiruna, several topics of our time are concentrated together in a dense microcosmos: economic progress vs preserving the cultural heritage, changing of urban landscapes because of natural or manmade events, the environmental and cultural impact of big mining operations, and mankind’s constant attempt to undertake huge efforts to continue on the supposed path to happiness.


Gregor Kallina (b. 1970 in Vienna) received his master’s degree in economics from the University for Economics and Business in Vienna and his master of arts in image sciences from Danube University Krems. He worked as an international project manager at UniCredit Group from 1998 to 2017 and attended the Anzenberger Masterclass for Visual Storytelling 2016/17. Kallina is self-educated in photography and turned professional in 2013. His photographic passion is derived from combining aspects of documentary photography with a poetic visual approach aiming to reflect the different layers of more abstract topics connected to the subject.


Tytano, ul. Dolnych Młynów 10


25.05.2019, 8 pm

Exhibition open:

Tuesday–Friday 15.00–19.00
Saturday–Sunday 11.00–19.00


free admission

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