Monthly Archives: June 2012

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Final words: The Icelandic Love Corporation

It’s the last day of June and time to move on. Before we continue onto the summer — keeping a lower profile on the country side — we are wrapping up the “flavor of the month“, closing June with an artistic work that touches upon existential and political issues, which is theatrically staged with a humorous angle — in a peculiar fusion of realism and surrealism…

Happy summer everyone!

The Icelandic Love Corporation — Eirún Sigurðardóttir, Jóní Jónsdóttir, Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir and Dóra Ísleifsdóttir (who left the group in 2001) — met in Reykjavík, at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts. Their first big performance was “The Kiss”, featuring the artists kissing and was broadcasted on national TV in 1996.

The Kiss / Photo taken from ICL’s homepage

A kiss — they say — that was a little bit longer than a friends kiss but a little bit shorter than a lover’s kiss. In the end of the performance one of the artists kissed the camera lens and in the meantime, sent a kiss to every home in the whole country.

“With this performance we were trying to spread love and good feelings,” Sigrún says (in Grapewine 2007).

And since then — since that first kiss — the mission of the group has only expanded in line with their steadily growing career.

Women good enough to eat / Photo taken from ILC’s homepage

To The Icelandic Love Corporation, there are no rules — anything goes and nothing is irrelevant. Even though spreading love and good feeling is a part of their performances, The Icelandic Love Corporation has never been afraid to go all the way. Humour, femininity and carelessness is mixed with political thoughts and serious topics in their work, which is mostly performative — depending on time, place and “had-to-be-there” moments.  The group is enigmatic and their vibrant, life affirming work is both transient and anonymous. It’s not resistant to pin-pointing or analysing — and trying to do so is rather futile. Their work is honest — and refreshing — with a serious undertone that isn’t unwieldy. As is written in an interview with the group in the SiouxWire Annex from 2006:

“As a whole, their body of work is like an ornate diary, a window into their own personal journeys with the most incredible, enlightening outlook”.

“Where do we go from here?” / Photographer: Páll Stefánsson

Through performances and other mediums (including installations, prints, textile, sculptures, poetry, photography and videos), the group works to breakdown the distance between art and audience, and their projects often result in participatory events or public offerings. In one of their latest collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö, the group created — in a living web of 5000 nylon pantyhose — a singular visual experience “Think Less, Feel more” that worked on irrational levels of the thinking process. The performance had its starting point in the visible and invisible contacts between people — conveying experiences of control and lack of control, conflict, sensitivity and elasticity …

… taking the performance artform just a one step further.

Think Less – Feel more / Photo taken from Lilith Performance Studio

The Icelandic Love Corporation (Gjörningaklúbburinn) was established by four Icelandic women in 1996 and since then, the group has gained a reputation both in Iceland and abroad. The fourth member (Dóra Ísleifsdóttir) left the group in 2001 but the three remaining members; Eirún Sigurðardóttir (1971), Jóní Jónsdóttir (1971) and Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir (1973), have kept on making artwork together, tour the world and surprise both audience and bypassers with innovative performances and lasting by-products including installations, sculptures, prints, textile, photographs, poetry and videos. Believing in the power of collaboration, the ILC’s history counts more than 200 exhibitions, as they’ve performed in small galleries and large museums, collaborated with renowned artists and musicians (f.ex. Björk) and invaded public spaces in major cities across the world. Their work can be found found in numerous public and private collections. 


Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Choreography, Documentary, Iceland, Installation, Live art, Media, Music, Performance, Photography, Political Art, Print, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Sound Art, Textile Art, Video Art, Visual Art

THEATRE OF LIFE ARTISTRY

Net stroll: The Artist Theater (Iceland)

It might sound risky — or even ridiculous — to bring visual arts into the traditional theater environment. After all, the theatre  is (most of the time) a vast establishment where experiments are usually not allowed.

Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir / Photo by http://www.mbl.is/ Skapti

The “Artist Theater” is a group of artists from different directions that make glamorous evenings of performances in the basement of The National Theater in Iceland.

The group was originally founded at Klink og Bank in 2004 and has been working together every now and then, ever since.  In The Artist theater the audience can expect anything, the work is rarely rehearsed and the artist perform on each others work.

The Artist theater 2012 / Photo by Ingvar Högni Ragnarsson

In arts — the joy of creation is often hidden in the final outcome and is therefore totally out of sight from the audiences. This is dissimilar to what takes place in the Artist theater, where the process of creation is often in real time and for that reason — very visible.

Snorri Ásmundsson, an artist and a member of the group wrote this to explain the phenomenon further:

The phenomenon of The Artist theater is in fact undefined, founded by performance artists who had the need to have a go at existing methodology and format of performances and the theater. In Iceland there exists a strong tradition for the art of performances, here a very unique scene has evolved. A scene that surely needs to be regularly explored. Our size and geometrical isolation certainly effects this need.

Snorri Ásmundsson

Feedback of the past performances have been strong and seems to be significant in today´s Icelandic cultural life. The Artist Theater wants to evolve, awaken and contribute to all people who are ready to accept.

The Artist theater 2012: Snorri Ásmundsson, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Ingibjörg Magnadóttir, Ragnar Bragason, Saga Sigurðardóttir, Margrét Bjarnadóttir, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, Rakel McMahon, Ástrós Elísdóttir, Símon Birgisson and guests.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Favourite of the month, Iceland, Konsthopp, Live art, Net stroll, Performance, Reykjavík, Sociopolitical art, Visual Art

UNNESKO

Performance: 29th of June 2012 at 20.30, Gallerí Dvergur (Reykjavik)

In a live performance on the opening day at Dwarf Gallery / Gallerí Dvergur, Thomas Hörl will introduce himself as an Unnesko, a personalized world heritage.

The title of the show; „Unnesko“ is a word creation, refering to a world heritage organisation Unesco. More and more Austrian folkore groups such as the „Perchten“ of Gastein (Salzburg County) in the year 2011 or the Imst Carnival „Schemenlaufen“ (Tyrol) in 2010 were recorded to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria by the UNESCO.

Since customs always changed over the years, there are tendencies to keep them „original and traditional“, mostly refering to late 19th and early 20th century records from folklorists. In the oral history and strongly belief only males are allowed to participate in the performances. There are only few groups which are mixed genders or women only. None of that is mentioned in the official presentation of UNESCO, except for the Glöcklerlauf in Ebensee (Upper Austria). In the exhibition Thomas will show collages and two video works, as well.

You can join the event on Facebook here!

Pictures from “Medicine Mountain – Learn to Love in Seven Days I” by Thomas in Salzburg County (2010)

Photographs belong to Thomas Hörl


About the artist:

Thomas Hörl was born 1975 in Salzburg. He has long dealt with various aspects of “folklore” — autobiographically-regionally as well as within an international context. In terms of content, his focus is on ritualized forms of activity and threatening gestures such as the slitting open of bellies by the Perchten and the stories associated with them from the Alps. He deals with fearful elements within the tradition, but also with gender questions (hermaphroditic creatures, duality, heteronormativity, exclusion of women as performers, men in women’s dress — so-called Gesellinnen). His works start from research in libraries, museums, exhibitions, at folkloric events, and through select interviews with members of the population as a kind of seismographic field research.

— Cornelia Reinisch

Leave a comment

Filed under Performance, Reykjavík, Uncategorized

WHAT CAME FIRST? THE WOMAN OR THE EGG?

Solo performance: 14th & 15th of June 2012, CCAP Studios (Stockholm)

“Vulnerability, beauty, innocence. The white and the clean. Eggs on the inside and on the outside. When did I become a woman? When will I become the woman I want to be?” A solo performance on restraining oneself and to be free.

Disa Krosness /  Tove Brunberg. (Translated by Konsthopp) 

Photographs by Disa Krosness & Írena Steindórsdóttir

The performance, What came first? – The woman or the egg? is a study of projected femininity and how it manifests itself in the body. The opening scene starts with a woman — clean, pure — sitting on a chair, dressed in white, red high heals, painting a face on an egg. Spread around her and attached to her spine are the fragile eggs, which she carefully handles and proceeds around with caution. The solo is performed without music or sounds, so Tove’s facial expressions — titters, smiles, eye-contacts — and movements, are powerful and portray a feeling of insecurity, self-consciousness and restrictions. Under the performance, the woman lose her balance, falls and an egg shatters… after that, there is no going back for her…

Tuve Brunberg said this about the process of the project:

 ”It was a partnership that really challenged me as a person, on a private level but also on an artistic level. It has been a deep dive into myself as a person and what is actually important in the job as a dancer. It has been demanding physically as I have been executing expression that I am not accustomed to perform, such as “facial choreography” or mime, and other movements that did force me to push my limits physically and mentally.”

(Translated by Konsthopp)

The idea first came from Disa Krosness (1985), a dancer and choreographer, and is a result of a month-long collaboration between Disa Krosness, Tove Brunberg and Anna Lo Engwald (costume designer) in a residency at CCAP Studios in Stockholm. The whole project is basically no budget but Stockholm City contributed 10 000 for the marketing, costumes and props and CCAP offered free studio. Disa Krosness says that ..” the wish is to put it up on a gallery, where I think it would fit well. I am also seeking ways to make it into a dance film”.

I really hope her wish comes true — and that more people can enjoy this outstanding performance!

Disa Krosness (idea & choreography) is born in 1985 and trained as a dancer at the Schools of Modern Dance in Copenhagen. In the spring of 2012 Disa initiated Friends, with Benefits, a platform to promote cooperation among female dancers. In line with her desire to highlight newly established choreographers and dancers, Disa is involved in organizing the dance festival MOVE TO BE MOVED and has recently started the dance group Lativ Super, were the vision is to raise the dancer and choreographers status in society. 

Contact info: disakrosness@gmail.com

Tove Brunberg (process & presentation) is born in 1986 and has worked as a freelance dancer since she graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet School (modern line) in 2006. She has produced and participated in performances with the group ches: co, which she helped establish in 2006 and which has performed in various places in Stockholm. Tove has also done her own solos as well as working in sets with Susanne Jaresand, Lotta Melin, Carl Olof Berg, Dorte Olesen, Sebastian Lingserius, Ossi Niskala and SU-EN Butoh Dance Company.

Contact info: tove.brunberg@gmail.com

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Choreography, Dance, Favourite of the month, Live art, Performance, Political Art, Sociopolitical art, Uncategorized, Visual Art

LIFE CLOCK

Vernissage: 22nd of June 2012, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen)

Every summer, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art invites artists to curate an exhibition with a focus on the latest tendencies in contemporary art. This year the art group A Kassen, curates the show and present their own view of interesting art right now, inviting 12 Danish and International artists to take part in the exhibition. The title of the show, Life Clock, is taken from one of the works by French artist Bertrand Planes. The piece consist of a clock that does not record time as normally — in hours and minutes — but instead counts years and age approximated from the average lifespan of a Frenchman. The clock is adjusted so that it’s 54.800 times slower than a normal clock and keeps time with the artists’ actual age. With this simple gesture, Bertrand Planes changes our perception of time from anonymous, collective and perhaps meaningless — to an image of personal vanity and a reminder of the transience of life.

One of Konsthopp’s good friend in Copenhagen, Amir Zainorin, was present at the opening night and took some shots. Enjoy!

Photographs by Amir Zainorin

Date: 23rd of June – 12th of August 2012

Artists: Honey Biba Beckerlee (DK), Julius Von Bismarck (DE) and Julian Charriere (FR/CH), Torben Christensen (DK), Cyprien Gaillard (FR), Robin Gommel (DE), Anna Molska (PL), Simon Dybbroe Møller (DK), Bertrand Planes (FR), Att Poomtangon (TH), Wilfredo Prieto (CU), Troels Sandegaard and Ebbe Stub Wittrup (DK), From The Confected Video Archive of Kling & Bang Gallerí: Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Loji Höskuldsson and Úlfur Grönvold (IS).

Curator: A Kassen art group

Place: Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Oslo Plats 1, Copenhagen


Leave a comment

Filed under Amir Zainorin, Art, Art stroll, Collage/Clip Art, Copenhagen, Group exhibit, Guest blog, Konsthopp, Photography, Sculptures, Visual Art, Workshop visit

THE DAYS OF THE CHILD PRODIGY ARE OVER

Performance: 25th and 27th of June 2012 at 20.00, Nýló (Reykjavik)

“He suffered from pre-natal depression, has found an outlet in poetry and visual art”

Betus is a child prodigy with outstanding artistic talents. He has been brought to Iceland by the Association of Former Child Prodigies to appear at a special event this June. The Association is honored to welcome Betus to the country. On the occasion of his arrival he will participate in an event in The Living Art Museum where guests are given the unique opportunity to get to know Betus and his work. Betus will not be on his own, joining him will be people of great importance and influence in his life, including his mother as well as his manager, a Native-American from the Southern States, known as the Indian. The mother of Betus and the Indian crossed paths in the early eighties and the three of them have been inseparable since Betus was conceived. Betus’ closest friend and soul mate; Beethoven, a former child prodigy in music, is also coming to Iceland for this occasion. He will be performing piano sonatas both nights.

The curator of the event is the world renowned art therapist, author and academic Dr. Sharon McStone, primarily known for her best sellers “DON’T LET YOUR CHILDS TALENT GO TO WASTE”, “TALENT IS MONEY & MONEY IS TIME” and “THE G-WORD – GENIUSES ARE PEOPLE TOO”. She has specialized in alternative treatment for child prodigies and hyper intelligent individuals to channel their unique gifts into creative paths.

Drawings by Rakel McMahon

The performance at the Living Art Museum will present the piece in its current state of being; it is a part of an extensive process where the dialogue between drawing and text gives birth to a performance and eventually a book published by ÚTÚR publishing.

You can join the event on Facebook here!

Date 25th and 27th of June 2012 at 20.00.

Artists: Anat Eisenberg, Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir, Rakel McMahon, Saga Sigurðardóttir and Yair Vardi. Music and sound is by Eberg. Set and costume assistant is by Eva Signý Berger.

Place: Nýló (The Living Art Museum), Skúlagata 28, Reykjavik

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Artist books, Curator, Drawings, Favourite of the month, Iceland, Konsthopp, Performance, Reykjavík, Uncategorized

FATAL FETISHISM

Online publication: KATALOG (Canada)

“Irony serves as an alibi for a fetish.” (Nathaniel Wing)

Fetish is one of my favorite words in the dictionary. There is something fascinating, disturbing and — well — disgusting about fetishism. My prospects about this perverted phenomenon; often makes me laugh.

And more people seems to be preoccupied by fetish.

The 6th issue of KATALOG — Fetish

A new issue of KATALOG was recently launched. For those who don´t know — Katalog is an e-magazine dedicated to the practice of performances and live arts around the world. The magazine is a free paperless performance publication, published quarterly by the Central Canadian Center for Performance. CCCP’s main aim is to create awareness and document performative and live arts.

Two Icelandic artists; Eva Ísleifsdóttir and Rakel McMahon presents their work in the latest issue.

 

Eva Ísleifsdóttir wrote the following words about her performance; “It´s a sign“:

… Walking around Cork city center with a big traffic symbol on my back. The by-passers offering their help but I politely said no. It was heavy and awkward. The Cul de sac is a traffic symbol that indicates a dead-end street. Using the symbol as a representation of reality, I walked the streets of Cork with a big traffic symbol on my back. Traffic symbols weight a lot in modern society, warning signs, indications, they are directing us, for our own safety. Older civilizations recognized the power of symbols and used them extensively in everything. What if the ´normal´ traffic signs and symbols are subliminally and cynically trying to tell us something? …

— Eva Ísleifsdóttir

“It´s a sign” by Eva Íslefsdóttir. Image/ Irene Murphy  

Rakel McMahon, which our readers should be familiar with, presents in the same issue her new work; “What is the purpose; it´s allreadmade.” Let´s see what the artist says about her artistic approach.

.. I´m interested in approaching and presenting my subject matter with reinterpretation, metaphors, and reevaluation of serious/humor and what is considered normal. The subject and issues I like working with are connected with gender, sexuality, stereotypes and normality.”

— Rakel McMahon

 “What is the purpose; it´s allreadmade.” by Rakel McMahon (2012) Image/Konsthopp

You can download Fetish, the 6th issue of KATALOG, here!

KATALOG is an online publication with video and sound capabilities which is dedicated to the practice of performance and live art.  Each issue deals with a different type of performance and in this issue we focus on artworks that deals with the object as an accompaniment or as the main focus of a performative work.  This call is open for artists from all disciplines from around the globe.  

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Art Magazine, Favourite of the month, Iceland, Live art, Performance, Political Art, Sociopolitical art, Uncategorized, Visual Art