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.