Category Archives: Reykjavík

MARSHMALLOWS IN MAY

Flavor of the month: Art festivals

May is a good month when it comes to art.

Work by Hanna Frostell (Konstfack exhibition 2011)

In Stockholm, students from Konstfack, Mejan, Beckmans and Berghs will all be presenting their graduation work — new ideas, trends, perspectives — which is really something looking forward to. One of our “artist talk” artist, Erla Silfá, is releasing her final project, Can’t hear my eyes, at Bio Rio the 21st — which I am personally very excited to hear — and Galleri Fotfolket just opened last friday, as the first mobile art gallery in the city.

From the opening of Galleri Fotfolket 11th of May 2012

In Reykjavík, we’ve already been at the graduation exhibition at LHÍ and in a week from now, one of the oldest and most respected arts festivals in Northern Europe, Reykjavík Art Festivalis opening — bringing together 29 artist-collectives with the collaboration of over 100 participants.

Konsthopp will (of course) be on the spot, reporting ‘the créme de la créme’ from the festival!

Art in Translation is another kind of biennial, a 3-day conference event that aims to create an interdisciplinary forum to explore connections between language and various art forms, this year emphasising on creative writing. At last we should also mention MESSA Vision, a small-scale teaser for MESSA 2013 – an ambitious project that claims to be “the first international visual art fair to be held in Iceland”.

Work by Assa Kauppi (Galleri Andersson/Sandström) – Art Copenhagen 2011

Photographs by Konsthopp

Beside what’s mentioned above, many of the art galleries are opening their last exhibition this month, before summer-closing.

We’ll try our best to keep you updated — so be sure you follow! And please let us know about other art festivals / happenings in your city!

Happy Sunday everyone!

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IMAGINATION WITHOUT BORDERS

Closed: 21st of April – 6th of May 2012, Hafnarhúsið (Reykjavik)

Students from the departments of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, exhibited their graduate projects at Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús, earlier this month. The exhibition is usually impressive and this year was no exception.

Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Photographs by Konsthopp

Washing machine, washing the Icelandic flag ; super-sized swing ; cloud machine ; gramophone (Jónófón) in new costume — the imagination was prevailing at every turn at Hafnarhúsið and wholly without any borders.

Cheers everyone!

Date: 21st of April – 6th of April 2012

Artists: Graduation students from Fine Arts, Design and Architecture Department

Place: Hafnarhúsið, Tryggvagötu 27, Reykjavik

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“THE COLOUR YELLOW IN A PAINTING BY PICASSO”

Artist talk: Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir (Iceland)

Waiting by living, hoarding by breathing, establishing legions of excessive blunders, accidents by birth, titanical mistakes, real horrorshow coincidentals, with no aims, no means but an end (like all), a particularly beautiful laboratory and a flower-shaped petri plate, right here. Waiting, aiming, receiving, working: reprocess — platch, pow and a piece.

That’s the piece I must, that’s my own, designated.

— Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir

H E L L, installation (2009)

Art is everyday and artists are everywhere. On an ordinary everyday morning, I ran across Róska´s mother at my daughter´s kindergarden.

After an everyday chat about everyday life, I found out that the mother is an active visual artist. And suddenly I wanted to hear more. Because artists are in general attractive. Since their lives are less ordinary.

While I beat him with a dry fish, photograph (2008)

There was no rule two,  photograph (2007) 

Photographs belong to Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir

“I would like to be Róska for one day. I have a feeling that her life was one big performance and being Róska for one day is like being the colour yellow in a painting by Picasso,” says Jóna Hlíf when I asked her which artist she would like to be for one day.

Read the whole interview with Róska´s mother here!

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– 33

On-going:, 14th of April – 6th of May 2012, Kling & Bang (Reykjavik)


Demons, fiends, devils, sorcerers, monsters, werewolves …

Somehow — spring usually brings out my inner demons. And sometimes I´m lucky enough to meet some of them — unexpectedly — on my way.

Sigga Björg creates a mysterious world of all kinds of creatures in her latest exhibition: ” – 33 ” at Kling & Bang Gallery. Up to this point, the artist´s creatures have been anonymous but now you can meet and even buy the little devils.

Please, let me introduce; Max, Gaab, Dianna, Jacobb, Benedict and Najim.

“Max” (or I think this is Max)

“Gaab”

“Dianna”

“Jacobb”

“Benedict”

“Najim”

“Max” (or I think this is Max)

Photographs by Konsthopp

I´m going to end this short entry with a text from the exhibition catalog under the heading Looking the Devil in the Eye by Goddur:

“Demons, fiends and devils visit our dreams and visions. They appear on everyone’s inner hemisphere. So do angels, nymphs and little elves, flashing before us on the peripheries of our vision. However, very few are willing to acknowledge this and accept it, let alone draw it on paper and thereby transfer the vision into this world. Most people dismiss it as fantasies and hallucinations, ashamed even to mention that it happened. Nevertheless, the devils and demons symbolise certain things. They harbour our hidden impulses and feelings.”

Guðmundur  Oddur  Magnússon (Goddur)

Today is the last day to look the devil in the eye!

Date: 14th of April – 6th of May 2012

Artist: Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir

Place: Kling & Bang Gallery, Hverfisgata 42, Reykjavik

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NÚNINGUR / FRICTION

On-going: 14th of April – 13th of May 2012, Listasafn ASÍ (Reykjavik)

The visual art in the city — The city in the visual art

It can be hard to define what is sociopolitical art. But as far as I know  — all art in public sphere have political implication. And since our flavor of this month is sociopolitical art;  it is a must to mention the ongoing project; Núningur (e. Friction).

The project is build upon ideas by couple of artists and scholars and have been under way for a while. Together — the project deliberates about the many-sided connection between visual art and the urban community.

“Veghelgunarsvæði” by Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir

“Heyr mína bæn” by Katrína Mogensen

“Kleine Welten” by Christian Hasucha

Photographs are taken from the project´s Facebook site

Listasafn ASÍ is working as a kind of center for the project but the the work will be published all over Reyakjvík city this year. An ambitious exhibition catalogue have been released and many open symposium are scheduled in relation to the show. So stay tuned!

Date: 14th of April – 13th of May 2012

Artists: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Ásmundur Ásmundsson, Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir, Brynjar Helgason, Christian Hasucha, Elin Wikström, Gunnar J. Árnason, Hjálmar Sveinsson, Hlynur Hallsson, Indriði Arnar Ingólfsson, Ingirafn Steinarsson, Ívar Glói Gunnarsson, Karl Torsten Stallborn, Katrín Eyjólfsdóttir, Katrína Mogensen, Margrét H. Blöndal, Nikulás Stefán Nikulásson, Nína Óskarsdóttir, Páll Haukur Björnsson, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir, Ragna Sigurðardóttir, Stefán Óli Baldursson, Una Ösp Steingrímsdóttir, Unnar Örn J. Auðarson, Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson, Þröstur Valgarðsson, and Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir

Curators: Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson, Kristinn E. Hrafnsson and Ólafur Gíslason

Place: Listasafn ASÍ,  Freyjugötu 41, Reykjavík

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KIDS STUFF

Art workshops for children in Reykjavik

It might sound strange but during national (economic) depression — people often seem to have more children. Iceland is there no exception.

In the year of 2009 and 2010, more children were born in Iceland than ever before. These periods are in daily life called baby boom. People born during such a period are often called baby boomers.

Art workshop at Kjarvalsstaðir. Photo/Ragna Kjartansdóttir

Painting by a child at Gerðarsafn

Art work by various children at Listasafn Íslands

An installation at Gerðarsafn

Drawing by a child at Gerðarsafn

Art workshop at Kjarvalsstaðir. Photo/Ragna Kjartansdóttir

Photographs by Konsthopp

While it is trendy to have a baby, the biggest art museums in Iceland work hard to please the parents. Recently, the first Children´s culture festival in Reykjavik was launched. Many art workshops for children of all ages were scheduled. Almost anything was possible. The youngsters could create swords and shields, forge settlement era style jewelry, kites, masks and draw runes.

Where there are children, there is life. All kind of people showed up. Young, old, big, small, known, unknown. In the middle of the crowd you could spot the culture-minded Mayor of Reykjavik, poets and popular DJ´s. Thanks for this enjoyable enterprise.

I´m already excited to watch out for our future artists!

Artists: Various children

Places: Listasafn Íslands, Gerðarsafn, Kjarvalsstaðir and Nýló

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I LIKE IT

Artist in residence: Una B. Sigurðardóttir (Iceland)

– Read Una’s previous diary notes Please note this & It boils my blood

Now I will talk about what is enjoyable about being in Japan.

The people here. I have met many people during my stay here and I mostly live and work with  local people. Even though I am sometimes with out a tongue among large groups — and the fact that languages barriers truly exist — I feel very warm with the Japanese people I have connected to. Acting, drawing and whatever you can think of to make yourself understandable has been tried out on both sides. And as I start to know the people better and they to know me, it becomes easier and joking around is no longer a mission.

My experience with the people and the social culture is most friendly and I find the respect among and between people very comfortable. But this is also a double edge sword, this culture has a tradition for people not disagreeing or debating. People here have addressed this problem to me and are searching for a way to get the society to talk and debate about its future. It is very necessary right now because of the nuclear issue that they are facing.

There are not really bars in Japanese culture, but really many drinking restaurants. That means there is a big culture for eating and drinking all night long, talking, laughing and singing. Frankly, I think I have not sung as much with people in years! Maybe this connection through music has become so strong exactly because of the lack of language, but it doesn’t change the fact that the freedom to sing and be exposed by that is ok and not frightening.

Eating in Japan is also fun. It is very social action and as one can imagine the cuisine is brilliant. Of all the various traditional dishes that I have tried at dinner parties or restaurants there are only two things that I will absolutely not eat again. But the rest, preferably.

It is hard to describe a place, and why you start to love it. It is an atmosphere. The millions of details that you notice when you’re going around and about that compose this picture. The attitude, the smile, the colours, the smell, the train, the metro and the face masks. How people just seem to feel ok about falling asleep everywhere and under the most strange circumstances. The fact that you take off your shoes all the time and that you don’t need to worry about locking your bicycle.

The bathhouse and the bathing culture, the loud and colourful advertising signs everywhere manifesting the craziness of this country’s capitalism, shouting people on every corner wanting to sell you something, the stylish girls and guys and Kawii! Never have I met as many adults presenting themselves with such cutefied shyness as here. This attitude is the fruit of the Kawii culture that has been completely integrated into “Old Japan”.

Photographs belong to Una B. Sigurðardóttir

I am telling you that public signs, roadblock and … you name it — has been citified. But the sky here is beautiful and all is full of automates, for whatever you can’t think of and this culture definitely does not understand coffee, or to put it mild, has reinvented it … and everything is a bit different from what you are used to.

I like it.

宜しく

Una

About the artist 

Una B. Sigurðardóttir completed her BA degree from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in the spring of 2008.  She lived and worked in Reykjavík, as an artist and a poet, as well as teaching figure drawing at a secondary grammar school until the fall of 2011. She currently lives in the Netherlands and is pursuing her MA degree of Fine Arts at AKV St. Joost Academy.

She was a member of Gallery Crymo, an artist-run, non-profit gallery. In addition she ran a studio at Hvefisgata 61 in collaboration with other artists and writers. She has been involved in the organization of many artistic events, participated in numerous exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, and given performances and readings of her own works.

Her body of work is marked by multiplicity and the desire to experiment with materials, medium and method. Therefore she has chosen not to limit herself to a specific medium, although she has increasingly given emphasis to  drawing/painting/collage and sculpture, as well as continuing the fusion of and search for new mediums. Una has explored the relationship between text and other mediums such as text and image. For example, three books with her texts and drawings, “The Adventures of the Sick Girl”, “The Sick Girl Kills” and “Soap Stories” were published in 2007.

Since 2010 she has individually, and in collaboration with artist Rakel McMahon, experimented with new mediums and forms of presentation, such as creating large advertising stickers displayed in windows and manufacturing false product packagings. By this they are testing the border between the art and consumerism.

In Una’s works there are underlying narratives, and although she critically examines serious subject matter, her work is liberally spiked with humor. Una seeks to process her personal vision of society and environment in the context of the ideological assumptions and global realities that modern man is faced with. Therefore many images of consumerism and popular culture, as well as symbols of dominant ideologies, have become motifs in her work.

Between 9th of February – 11th of April 2012, Una has been writing diary notes which she has been kind enough to share with us. This was the last post. 

Read Una’s previous posts, #1 here and #2 here

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THE GREEN REVOLUTION

Guest blogger: Gunnhildur Thordardottir (Iceland)

My interest in recycling started early and as a child my parents would recycle paper, food containers and composted the organic waste in our garden. Recycling was one of the daily routines in our home and easy for me and my siblings to participate in. However in the 80´s and 90´s recycling was a new term in Iceland and few people paid attention to this lifestyle.

Furthermore I was a girl scout and one of the goals of the scout movement is to respect nature and use the materials that the nature provides wisely and innovatively. The capturing slogan ´Recycle or Die` is fairly new and means that we need to recycle for our future, our children and future generations to come to keep the earth sustainable.

Many artists have used this slogan as well as musicians, fashion labels and it has even inspired filmmakers. For me, using recycled materials in my artwork is very natural since I have continued to recycle into adulthood, and love passing this knowledge to my children by making something creative with them. Recycled material is very versatile, is already there and it does not matter whether I am going to make something intricate or simple. In my artwork I have used i.e. socks, food containers, off cuts of steel, wood, paper, plastics, leftovers of yarn and other textiles.

Fortunately for our planet more and more people are interested in saving the planet by recycling and hopefully it will make a difference. Furthermore I hope my work inspires people to reduce, reuse and recycle!

My main goal with re-cycled art is to realize an object of interest or beauty with material, which would otherwise be thrown away!

— Gunnhildur Thordardottir, visual artist

From the exhibition Losun/Emisssion

Photograph by Konsthopp

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LOSUN / EMISSION

Vernissage: 10th of March 2012, Íslensk Grafík (Reykjavik)

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do — or do without” (New England proverb)

This month happened to be dedicated to recycled art. I stumbled upon two recycled art exhibitions, watched the documentary Waste Land for the first time and discovered many artists that use waste materials in their creation of art.

Gunnhildur Thordardottir is one of them. The artist is very keen on recycling and uses materials for her work that would otherwise be thrown away — such as unpaired socks, off-cuts of textiles, sticky plastic film and empty food containers.

Beside the recycling, the artist’s inspiration is derived from primary colours and different forms. As an occupied mother of three, the artist had to use more child friendly materials than usually in the process of the exhibition.

The color scheme was a pleasant surprise on this particularly grey and gusty Saturday. Specially after my visit to the black&white “Santiago Sierra” show, which is housed in the same building (Listasafn Reykjavikur), the exhibition “Losun” befitted exceptionally well in the bright and — in my opinion — one of the best exhibition spaces in Reykjavik.

Photograph by Konsthopp

After a nice chat with the artist — were we discussed anything from unlike art scenes in different countries to child raising — we found out that we had more in common than just an ardor for contemporary art. Me and Gunnhildur are namely born on the same day.

Cheers to everyone that are born on the 10th of March!

Gunnhildur Thordardottir completed her BA in Art and Art History at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, graduating in 2003. She completed a MA degree in Arts Management in 2006. Since then she has been an active artist as well as working at museums and for the Printmaking Association in Iceland. Gunnhildur will next open an exhibition Fráhvarf / Departure in SÍM, 3rd of April 2012.

Date: 10th – 25th of March 2012

Artist: Gunnhildur Thordardottir

Place: Printmaking Association in Iceland (Íslensk Grafík), Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavik

Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday, 14.00 – 18.00

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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

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