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.”
Vernissage: 12th of May 2011, CRYSTAL (Stockholm)
A part of Holmstrand´s installation
On our usual Thursday night art stroll, Konsthopp stumbled across a surprisingly good performance. It was the premiere of “Making Up Stories”, a new performance by and with Leif Holmstrand. The gallery was crowded and it was quite hard to see what was really going on, but what we could hear was Holmstrand´s dark voice emitting repeatedly “BE CAREFUL, BE BEAUTIFUL!” The stage was surrounded by the surrealistic (and a little “creepy”!) atmosphere in his installations, mostly made from tights and socks.
“Making Up Stories” a performance by Leif Holmstrand
It has been claimed that Holmstrand´s performances both activate and complete his work. As stated in an announcement from Moderna Museet 2010:
Leif Holmstrand plays with the tension between his own handiwork and the varying capacity of fabricated objects to influence our life conditions. And terror and comedy are never far off in the result.
WHORE! A book by Leif Holmstrand
Photographs by Konsthopp
This same night a new catalogue “Catalogue Katalog 720418-2492 Leif Holmstrand 1997-2010” was also released. Holmstrand has published many books and it´s in a way symbolic for the artist that some of the books are published under the name Anna-Maria Ytterboml.
Leif Holmstrand lives and works as a poet and artist in Malmö. His previous work has been shown at Moderna Museet, Bonniers Konsthall and Malmö Konsthall to name few. This exhibition is Leif Holmstrands’ second solo exhibition at CRYSTAL.
Date: 12th of May – 12th of June 2011
Artist: Leif Holmstrand
Place: CRYSTAL, Hudiksvallsgatan 4B, Stockholm
Opening hours: Wednesday – Friday, 12.00 – 18.00 ; Saturday – Sunday 12.00 – 16. 00. Or by appointment.