Category Archives: Media

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

IN THE SAME CITY, UNDER THE SAME SKY…

Online public view: 19th of June – 1st of July 2012, MAP website (Sweden)

In the Same City, Under the Same Sky… is a series of short films made by the Polish artist Anna Konik. The artwork contains stories from seven women with foreign background living in Tensta, a suburb outside of Stockholm. These are tales of courage, regret, alienation and attempts to enter the Swedish society.

Photograph taken from MAP website

The women talk about their experiences of living in a forgotten part of Stockholm, when the reasons for coming there seldom were voluntary, but often traumatic. In the films we see seven women with Swedish origin in their homes in the city centre of Stockholm who retell the stories from the women in Tensta. The displacement of the narrative is a means for the artist to shed light on who’s stories we are ready to listen, who’s voice it is that counts.

Take a look at Anna Konik’s video here (without subtitle)

In the Same City, Under the Same Sky…is produced by MAP, Mobile Art Production in collaboration with the Polish Institute Stockholm, and with the support of Stockholm Municipality and Iaspis, where Konik was in residence during 2011.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Media, Multimedia, Performance, Political Art, Sociopolitical art, Uncategorized, Visual Art

KONSTFACK SPRING EXHIBITION ’12

Vernissage: 16th of May 2012, Konstfack (Stockholm)

A glimpse in photographs from the opening of the spring exhibition at Konstfack last Wednesday. The exhibition is open until Sunday 27th of May. Stay tuned for more photographs and interviews!

 Live show & performance by Dyke Hard

“The ceremony” by Tobias Larsson

“I wasn’t allowed to wear black” by Liv Pettersson

“Lugnt, Stillsamt, Vackert” by Julia Dalgren

“PATTERN ATTACK” by Lisa Dalenius

“Smara” by Emma Persson

“Girls Club” by Karin Kakan Hermansson

“Happy meal” by Supawan Sihapoompichit

Work by Ida Bentinger

“Extensions, retractions, and missing parts” by Bianca Niabuco

“Ramené” by Emilie Florin

Work by Yusi-Chen

Work by Jonna Fransson

Photographs by Konsthopp

You can check out Konstfack´s 2011 exhibition here and here!

Artists: Newly graduates with Bachelor and Master degrees from Konstfack

Date: 16th – 27th of May 2012

Place: Konstfack, Telefonplan, Stockholm

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Ceramic Art, Collage/Clip Art, Design, Digital Art, Fashion, Group exhibit, Installation, Konstfack, Konsthopp, Media, Photography, Stockholm, Textile Art, Uncategorized, Visual Art

PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE YEAR

Vernissage: 3rd of March 2012, Gerðarsafn (Kópavogur)

Press photos should reflect the situation in every society at any given time. That’s why I’m always a bit excited when the “Press photo of the year award” in Iceland is announced but Kópavogur art museum (Gerðarsafn) annually houses the event.

According to the selected committee, these pictures stood out in certain categories last year.

Category: “Daily Life” / Eyþór Árnason

Category: “Magazine photo of the year” / Kristinn Magnússon

Category: “Portrait picture of the year” / Rakel Ósk Sigurðardóttir

Category: “Sport photo of the year” / Kristinn Magnússon

Photographs belong to the photographers

For society critics and other thinkers it can be curious to compare the emphasis and trends in press photography between nations. I went to the “Swedish press photo award” last year in Stockholm and now this year in Iceland. At first sight, these two closely related countries seems to have almost nothing in common when it comes to media’s photo coverage. The Swedish press photos mirrors multicultural society, while the geographical isolation of Iceland seems to affect the Icelanders approach to press photography — sometimes in a very positive way.

Anyhow, I have to admit that I’m quite impressed how many Icelandic photographers have gained reputation and respect internationally — especially since most photographers of this country have to travel abroad to get their education. Examples of those includes the young fashion photographers, Saga Sig and Silja Magg and of course — the world known (and self-taught) documentary photographer Rax.

Don´t miss this years “Photograph of the year” in Sweden. The exhibition will be opened the 31st of March in Galleri Kontrast, Stockholm.

Date: 3rd of March – 7th of April 2012

Photographers: Various

Place: Gerðarsafn, Hamraborg 4, Kópavogur

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Artist books, Digital Art, Group exhibit, Konsthopp, Media, Multimedia, Photography, Reykjavík, Uncategorized

THE DEMAND IS HIGHER THAN EVER

Curator talk: Marín Björt Valtýsdóttir (Iceland)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background?

My first experience with curating was back in high school, setting up our graduation art exhibition. We were many and had very different backgrounds, so it was quite a task putting up the show. However, we did work and the outcome was better than we had hoped fore! As for further curating for my behalf, there haven’t been many opportunities. Curating is not a part of our program in the arts department of University of Iceland, the classes that teach the subject are small classes and fill up quickly so it is difficult to get in them, so going abroad is the only option to become a professional curator. But since we do know what curating is and we are curious about it a student gallery was opened fall of 2011. The gallery, which is called Artíma Gallerí, is giving us opportunity to try out curating and finding other people that are interested in the subject of curating and running a gallery.

What is the artistic field of your curatorial practice?

Usually I deal with 2d artworks like paintings or drawings. It was interesting when we decided to include one of Hekla Björt Helgadóttir’s pieces, which consisted of a lamp, broken plates and a stone heart, in the 3rd show of Artíma Gallerí. Once we started planning, it turned out that the piece would work better as an installation using the afforded space in the gallery in a different way than we first envisioned.

Is there a difference in curating different field of arts, etc. paintings, videos, interactive works or a piece of net art?

In retrospect it didn’t seem to matter much to me in which form or medium the artworks were but of course sooner or later practical matters will need to be addressed. In an ideal situation, the curator takes away the burden from the artist, of matching the artworks to an audience in a meaningful way. In reality this often results in a very close collaboration between the curator and the artist, which can be slightly less glamorous. Hammering nails into the wall or holding the ladder while attaching support strings.

From Artíma #3, work by Hekla Björt Helgasóttir, curated by Marín Björt Valtýsdóttir. Photos/Konsthopp

What kind of qualities do you think a curator should have?

Curating is a broad field of work, and every show is different. I think the artist makes the biggest difference in putting up an exhibition and how fluently it goes. When the collaboration between the artist and the curator is good, magic can happen.

A good curator sees the needs of the artist and the exhibition and does what it takes to combine it in to an interesting exhibition. Flexibility and diplomacy is important, as are social and communication skills since a big part of putting up an exhibition is working with other people and finding common grounds to work from. A curator is also a facilitator, concerning herself with practical matters.

Do you think that new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why?

Digital media is very fascinating because it can be very vivid and alive. Due to my young age I cannot say much about the effects it has had on curating since digital media used as an art form is older than I am. What I can tell is that digital media and interactive works are becoming more and more popular in the museum world so the medium is marking its place in the ‘traditional’ art world.

In times of “You Tube” and the Internet, do you think a curator is still needed?

I don’t see the Internet as having much effect on curating, as in making curating unnecessary. Museums and galleries are becoming more and more popular each year and new art fairs seem to be popping up all over the world, so the demand for a curator, if anything, is higher than ever. Youtube creates an abundance of information; years worth of video are uploaded daily on Youtube alone. My partner pointed out to me that curating is engaged in actively by the online community. People have created channels or blogs with little or no original content, consisting of other people’s artworks both collecting and connecting them, cross media.

What are your curatorial plans for the future? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives in curating?

Curating is a very interesting field of work, it offers you an exciting environment to work in, where you get to know artists and their work in a close and remarkable way. I hope to do more curating in the future since I find it an enjoyable experience. If I were to further my studies in curating, I would have to go abroad and at the moment I have no plans, I would be lying though to say that I haven’t looked into it.

What is the future of professional curating from your point of view?

Curating is a profession that seems to be on the rise. With more and more museums bursting up and art fairs existing in every country I think the field of curating is going to bloom in the coming years.

From Artíma #3, work by Hekla Björt Helgasóttir, curated by Marín Björt Valtýsdóttir. Photo/Konsthopp

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Art festival, Collage/Clip Art, Conversation, Digital Art, Group exhibit, Installation, Konsthopp, Media, Paintings, Reykjavík, Uncategorized, Visual Art

EXCITING WEEKEND AHEAD

Friday — the 20th of January 2012

There is an exciting weekend ahead for art lovers and aesthetes in Reykjavik. Santiago Sierra initiate the program with a performance, The Black cone in Austurvöllur today at 13.00.

For those who hunger for more Sierra, there is an exhibition opening with his work and polemical documentaries in Reykjavik Art Museum, Hafnarhúsið tonight at 20.00

No pope © Santiago Sierra, photograph courtesy of Estudio de Santiago Sierra 

Saturday — the 21st of January 2012

The unusual exhibition; Cyborg(s):Strange Creators and Creations will be launched in Kópavogur Art Museum, Gerðarsafn tomorrow at 15.00.

The curators of the show are Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir and Helgi Hjaltalín Eyjólfsson but the exhibition is based on the synonymous book by Úlfhildur which explores man´s fearful fascination with machines and technology. The exhibition will be opened by the Icelandic writer, Sjón.

The cover of the book; Sæborgin: Stefnumót líkama og tækni í ævintýri  og  veruleika. Photo taken from Spássían.is

At 17.00 same day, Gallery Kling og Bang will open their first exhibition of the year; Powerful picture (obsession-original) by Erling T. V. Klingenberg.

Sunday — the 22nd of January 2012

The exhibitionUnder Deconstruction by Libía Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson is now running in the National Gallery of Iceland. In relation to the show,  a lecture by the literary scholar; Hjálmar Sveinsson will be held on Sunday at 14.00.

Under Deconstruction was commissioned by the Icelandic Art Center for the Pavilion of Iceland at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2011 and was curated by Ellen Blumenstein.

Your Country Doesn´t Exist – 2011. Photograph courtesy of Libía and Ólafur

Happy art weekend everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Art Magazine, Artist books, Artist Talk, Comic Art, Conversation, Digital Art, Game Art, Illustrations, Installation, Konsthopp, Lecture, Media, Music, Performance, Photography, Political Art, Print, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Solo exhibit, Uncategorized, Video Art, Visual Art

COOL AS ICE

Documentary photography: RAX (Iceland)

“On the ice, you see life in a totally different way. There’s a sense of serenity and simplicity.” – RAX

The photograph has undoubtedly affected our lifes. Exotic cultures across the universe are often learned and explored through the lens of the camera. Contemporary audiences insist photographs with every media coverage. Nowadays, the photograph is so significant in most storytelling that a story without it feels incomplete — a half-story.

Some of these images may be familiar to you. They don´t need any explanation but prepare yourself for cold because RAX work is cool as ice.

Photographs belong to RAX

For almost three decades, Ragnar Axelsson a.k.a. RAX has been traveling to small Inuit villages in Greenland’s most remote regions, documenting the hunting traditions and vanishing lifestyles of northern communities. His images have won him recognition as one of the most accomplished documentary photographer of our times. He has been honoured as Icelandic Photographer of the Year couple of times, and his work has appeared in the renowned; National Geographic, Le Figaro, Time magazineThe New York Times and Newsweek.

Miki Meek, a photojournalist at NY Times described RAX with these words:

He’s trekked through glacial storms, fallen through rifts and awakened on ice that’s drifted out to sea. But Ragnar Axelsson just keeps coming back. – Miki Meek, 7th of December 2009. You can read the article here!

On Christmas night I watched an excellent documentary; Last days of the Arctic but Mr. Axelsson published a book with the same title in 2010. The documentary follows the photographer on his life’s mission — to capture the human faces of the North.

Apart from being among the most celebrated photographers in the world, RAX is also a great storyteller. He mainly photographs in B&W — snowWhite

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Artist books, Digital Art, Konsthopp, Media, Multimedia, Photography, Reykjavík