Category Archives: Favourite of the month

AUTUMN ASSEMBLY IN AUGUST

Flavor of the month: Watershed

After a long and “oh-so-wanted” summer break — witch passed by “oh-so-amazingly-fast” — I can finally welcome my favorite season. The fall.

Although it´s sunny and over 20 °C outside my window (it doesn´t get any warmer here in Iceland) — all I can think about is misty days, multicolored leaves and my new umbrella.

Photos taken from google and pinterest

Watershed, a turning point or — a milestone are typical for this time of the year. Exciting assignments are coming up. Accordingly — the editors of Konsthopp are back to school, trying new exciting education. And I will finally move to my own “oh-so-wanted” apartment, with my “oh-so-fat” newborn.

Despite days loading work and other ethical obligations (e.g; changing diapers and doing boring housework!) — Konsthopp will try to keep on track, reporting live from the Nordic alternative art scene!

Happy fall everyone!

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THAT’S A SECRET

In his latest performance “Man against a wall”, Elias Björn invited the public to sit down on a stool beside him (if they were interested) and see his penis, which had a flower placed in his urine tube. Beside that he stood leaning against the wall for about 30 minutes.

This is what Elias says about his artistic goals:

“With my masculinity interest I wish to broaden the discussion of what a male is and should be”

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Photograph taken by Alvaro Campo

Even though his most memorable moment as an artist is a secret, Elias Björn was kind enough to share with us his thoughts on our questions in Konshopp´s latest artist talk. To read the whole interview, click here

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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.

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

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

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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

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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.  

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JOYFUL JUNE

Flavor of the month: Performance art

Over the past weeks I have been asking outsiders what they think about the visual art scene in Iceland. Is it different from the rest of Scandinavian scene? What stands out in the Icelandic art scene today?

The answer was clear.

Most people I spoke to, mentioned the active and very visible performance art scene. It did not surprise me. Our biggest stars in the visual art sectors today are performance artists — with Ragnar Kjartansson and Rúrí in the forefront.

Lord of the castle itch yes” by Leif Holmstrand (2009), CHRYSTAL

 “Back and Forth” by Gatëan Rusquet (2011), ANTI Festival

Mont Blanc” by Mimosa Pale (2011) Berlin. Image/Niina Braun

Peta loves Pollock” by Rakel McMahon (2009)

Dance Drawings” by Meghann Snow (2011), Young Art

Photographs by Konsthopp

Then again, some people might ask — what is performance art?
It is not easy to answer; but I hope the guidelines below might give you a tiny glimpse of what we are talking about when it comes to this specific art form.

THE SYMPTOMS OF PERFORMANCE ART

»Performance Art is live.

»Performance Art has no rules or guidelines. It is art because the artist says it is art. It is experimental.

»Performance Art is not for sale. It may, however, sell admission tickets and film rights.

»Performance Art may be comprise of painting or sculpture (or both), dialogue, poetry, music, dance, opera, film footage, turned on television sets, laser lights, live animals and fire. Or all of the above. There are as many variables as there are artists.

»Performance Art is a legitimate artistic movement. It has longevity (some performance artists, in fact, have rather large bodies of work) and is a degreed course of study in many post-secondary institutions.

»Dada, Futurism, the Bauhaus and the Black Mountain College all inspired and helped pave the way for Performance Art.

»Performance Art is closely related to Conceptual Art. Both Fluxus and Body Art are types of Performance Art.

»Performance Art may be entertaining, amusing, shocking or horrifying. No matter which adjective applies, it is meant to be memorable.

— By Shelley Eesak,  ArtHistoryAbout.com

This month we are going to dig deeper into the field of this ancient art form!

Related entries includes; “The weird girls project” and “I would like to set a trend.”

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FLURRY FEBRUARY

This month’s favorite: Stockholm / Sweden

I know I’m late with this one. Four days late actually. But I wanted to let you know about my favourite of the month — Stockholm — and put in few photographs of some of the things I liked. I know you’ll forgive me for “being late”  but — as I’m writing this with one hand — I can tell you that I had to operate my elbow last month and consequently it is wrapped in a big white bandage right now. So there you got my excuse.

February started at Färgfabriken with the art group NUMEN (for use) and the exhibition TEJP Stockholm. The opening night was (like it usually is at Färfabriken) packed with people, wine and music. The exhibition is beautiful, exceptionally playful and really a lot of fun. It is still ongoing and is highly recommended!

For more info about Färgfabriken click here

From the opening night of TEJP STOCKHOLM at Färgfabriken

Photograph taken inside the tape installation.

Later in the month (17th-19th of February) there were the two artfairs, SUPERMARKET (at Kulturhuset) and MARKET (at Konstakademien).

Supermarket is a development of Minimarket, an artist groupshow held at Konstnärshuset in February 2006, in reaction to the commercial art fair Market. The arrangers of the Minimarket didn’t like Market’s concentration on customers with money and wanted Minimarket to present another side of the art — the one that is more fun and playful. In 2007 the arrangers change the name to Supermarket and now they refer to it as a “success story”, where Supermarket is today one of the biggest artist-run artfairs in the world.

This year Supermarket represented 80 galleries from 30 countries. Here are some of my favourites from the weekend.

For more info about Supermarket click here

Nest (The Hague, Holland), Supermarket 2012

GRAD (Belgrade, Serbia), Supermarket 2012

Galleria Huuto (Helsinki, Finland), Supermarket 2012

Studio44 (Stockholm, Sweden) Supermarket 2012

Tegen2 (Stockholm, Sweden), Supermarket 2012

Totaldobze (Riga, Latvia), Supermarket 2012

New for Supermarket this year was the “Red Spot”, a specially arranged stage dedicated to performance artists. As performance art has been growing on me (especially after my visit to ANTI festival in Finland), I believe this was a brilliant addition to the fair! The high-light of my weekend was Paul Dunca’s vampire performance, Incubus Crybtmaw. Scary, creepy, funny (some might say crazy), Dunca managed to connect delicately with the audience while questioning the performance artists goals and nature.

“Incubus Crybtmaw”. Performance by Paul Dunca, Supermarket 2012

Then there was the Market. It was more traditional/conservative than Supermarket but representing many of the best galleries in the Nordic region (42 art galleries). There it is price and quality that matters. Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery and the only examples I got was from Gallery Andersson/Sandström (which also happened to be our favourite at Art Copenhagen). Other favourites were Stene Projects, Gallery Nordenhake, Gallery Charlotte Lund, and the emerging galleries Gallery Anna Thulin and Galleri Jonas Kleerup.

Some might say that these two art fairs are “enemies” and competitors but even though that might be a reason for their existence I believe both of these fairs are important for the audience/participants and help establish Stockholm on the art world map.

For more info about Market click here

Gallery Andersson/Sandström (Stockholm/Umeå, Sweden), Market 2012

Gallery Andersson/Sandström (Stockholm/Umeå, Sweden), Market 2012

Last but not least is the urban artist ROA, who was supposed to be pimping up Stockholm with his huge wall-painted animals (I’ve heard that unfortunately this wasn’t really the case because of Stockholm’s ‘zero-tolerance’ for street art — only one wall in Alvik & Stockholm’s archipelago got the honour). As you may remember (refresh your memory here) ROA put up a show in Stockholm last month. I couldn’t go that night but as I’ve heard from friends the show was amazing! Good party and stunning artwork. ROA might have lost some of his deserved attention because of the two artfairs happening at the same time, at least I haven’t seen any media been writing about it yet (except here). But he definitely deserves the attention of art-interested audience and lucky for us we can still see his installation/work until the 17th of March. The Scarlett gallery opens the location to the public (as the work had to be done inside) between Friday and Sunday but if you want to see it outside the opening hours, just contact the gallery and they’ll open up for you!

For more info about ROA’s work in Stockholm (and opening hours) click here


From the opening night at Defragmentation (ROA) / Photos by Ashlee Christman

Photographs belong to Konsthopp

I admit that Stockholm might be dull sometimes — but it was surprisingly vivid last month. It exposed different forms of visual art and its representation. Even — in the city of zero tolerance — street art was included (and maybe one day it will be accepted too). This is just a glimpse of what was going on and I’m sure its not the first (or last) time Stockholm is a little ‘flurry’ like that. Still, I thought I would use the occasion to recognize and appreciate it. And pick it as my February favourite.

Hold to your creativity Stockholm! xx

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JAPANESE JANUARY

This month´s favorite: Japanese illustrators (Japan)

From an early age, I have absolutely adored bookstores. A beautiful book combined with a cup of a quality coffee, is a request begin of an ordinary day.

It was on an ordinary Monday morning (to be specific) that I bumped into a non-ordinary book — in a quite ordinary bookstore. Japanese illustration now (Thames & Hudson), is an example-packed overview of Japanese illustrations, showcasing the work of 100 of Japan’s most successful contemporary artists and designers.

Here are few examples to tickle your taste bud!

Akikio Matsuo 

Masayoshi Mizuho

“Kinpro” Chisato Shinya

Saeko Tagagi

Kazuya Taoka

Kosuke Ikea

Mimic


Mizuki Abe

Photos taken from Google images

As you can see, the illustrations embrace a huge range of styles — from traditional to futuristic and everything in between. The range of amazing images and subjects in this book is hugely memorable and an exciting journey to the utterly idiosyncratic but wonderful world of the Japanese sensibility.

Japanese illustrators are on the top of the agenda on this last day of January 2012!

Book: Japanese Illustation Now

Complete list of the artists: Akiko Matsuo, Atsushi Matsubayashi, Aya Ota, Ayako Okubo, Chigi, Chinatsu sozen, Cocolo, Dragon 76, Eito Yoshikawa, Foorider, Hal Watanabe, Hargon’s Wig, Heisuke Kitazawa, Hideki Tanaka, Hiroaki Yamadera, Hiroki Tsukuda, Hiromi Toriyama, Hiroshi Yoshii, Hiroyuki Izutsu, Hiroyuki Muso, Imaitoonz, Ippei Gyoubu, Itoman, Kahori Maki, Kana Nagano, Karol Hironaka, Kazuhiko Ifuku, Kazuko Tsuji, Kazuya Taoka, Keiko Enobi (Atoron), Kentaro Hisa, Kinpro, Komtena, Kosuke Ikeda, Kouzou Sakai, Koya Okada, Kurono, Kurumi Aoyama, Mako, Mamico, Mamoru Yamamoto, Manabu Hassegawa, Marumiyan, Masaru Yamaguchi, Masayoshi Mizuho, Mashu Oki, Mayko Fry, Megumi Terada, Minako Saito Botsford, Minchi, Misako Aono, Mizuki Abe, Moe Furuya, Naoshi, Natsuki Arai, Natsuki Lee, Natsuko Yoshino, Nico, Norico Uramoto, Red Hot Mama, Ryohei Hase, Ryohei Yamashita, Ryoichi Iso, Ryu Itadani, Ryuji Shishido, Saeko Takagi, Satoshi Matsuzawa, Satoshi Shigihara, Sayaka, Seevert Works, Seijiro Kubo, Shiro Taniguchi, Shobu Tsuchiya, Shah, Shojonotomo, Shu-thang Grafix, Shuhei Tabuchi, Smo, Susumu Yamauchi, Tadaomi Shibuya, Takashi Yamasaki, Takenaka, Takeru Toyokura, Taku Anekawa, Tamio Abe, Tatsuro Kiuchi, Tent, Tomohiro Yasui, Tomomi Ohsugi, Toshifumi Tanabu, Toshikazu Sasao, Tsukasa Tomoyose 
(Atoron), Wieden+Kennedy 
Tokyo lab, Yoshikazu Takai, Yukinori Dehara, Yusaku Maeda, Yusuke Saitoh, Yuta Miyazaki, Yutanpo Shirane and Yuuiti Miyakawa

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