Post-Digital World(s) of Icelandic Art

Post-Digital World(s) of Icelandic Art

Post-Digital World(s) of Icelandic Art

Writing about contemporary digital culture in mid-2020 has a different context than it did at the beginning of the year. In the midst of a global pandemic in which the Merry-Go-Round of the art world has been brought to a standstill brings a new consideration of the digital world as it has suddenly become the safest, available, and dynamic tool for continuing with life amongst new social distancing measures and limited travel possibilities. Like most sectors of daily life, the art world has been pushed to go digital. With the closure and alteration of how we experience some artworks in museums and galleries because of control measures, digital artists have been able to carry on as usual. Galleries and museums have offered virtual renderings and video walk-throughs of exhibitions, resurfaced 3-D tours, and more video content from the archives. One meme from the anonymous Instagram account @JerryGogosian captured the nuances of inhabiting a viewer’s perspective in the worlds of an online platform of contemporary art with a few chosen grammar decisions. (See featured image)

There is no doubt that the pandemic will influence the kind of art made during this time and in the years to come – especially in using the ever-present digital medium that has become even more a tool for carrying messages and presenting art on a digital platform. Digital artists already enmeshed in the medium are then at a certain forefront of these times ahead. Within Icelandic art history, the introduction of the digital came relatively later than other mainland art scenes. However, this has led to a particular relationship between the digital and more traditional art forms, especially traditions that are rooted in Icelandic culture, such as the landscape painting, which offers a tactile sense of the way people connect to landscapes both under the feet and in the mind.

A new publication titled Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art focuses on the manner in which contemporary art is changing in the era of the digital. Margrét Elísabet Ólafsdóttir, author of one of the book’s chapters, “Divisions and Divides in Icelandic Contemporary Art,” offers a timeline of the digital and new media arts in Iceland – one can see how global art movements diffused in Iceland tend to take on a characteristic of being intensified and clearly traceable, just as smaller models are easier to trace. In Iceland, there are certain instances, for example, when in the 1960’s the discrepancy between Iceland and the US in terms of access to technological equipment was vastly different – the militarized US was leading research in the field, while Iceland had limited access. This discrepancy in hindsight can be seen to have allowed the Icelandic art scene to develop in unique pathways that did not so readily grasp onto the digital, but considered it from a distance for a few more decades, cultivating a sensibility towards the divisions and divides between the digital and more ‘traditional’ mediums and create an aesthetic bridge between them. In a panel discussion in conjunction with the book launch, artist Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir, for example, describes the way in which she brings the imagery from the digital into a physical space by making 3d objects of subjects and motifs of digital culture such as funny animals, cucumbers, and fruit emojis as a way to work within the barrier between those two worlds.

When in the mid-1980s, video became part of the curriculum at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in the New Media department, there was one camera and no postproduction studio. Steina Vasulka’s exhibition in 1983 was shown in Iceland on limited monitors because of a lack of equipment. Compared with the rest of the contemporary art scene around the Western world, it allowed more time to reflect on actual and virtual worlds. In 1999, when Iceland Academy of the Arts replaced the College of Art and Crafts and opened specialized workshop departments, it was the first time art students had access to fully equipped video studios, post-production software, and digital cameras. As mentioned by Margrét, this resonates with questions asked by Egill Saebjornsson on equating the difference between actual and virtual worlds, with that of the different between nature and technology. At the Venice Biennale in 2017, Out of Control (2017), based on the characters of two trolls named   Ūgh & Bõögâr, offered reflection on the ways that for more than a century, Icelandic art has been described as being grounded in nature: “The fusion of virtual and actual worlds, reality and fiction, encountered in Egill Saebjornsson’s work, also makes us question the distinction, not only between art worlds but just ‘worlds’. Today, the divide between contemporary art and media art, which characterized the past decades, has collapsed.” (329)

Coinciding with the publication of the book Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art, edited by Tanya Toft Ag and published by Intellect Books, Margrét curated the online exhibition Arts New Representations which was launched on Saturday, June 13th on the platform of the Icelandic online magazine Artzine.is. The five works shown in the exhibition cultivate a sense of where Icelandic media art has been and where it is going with the current generation and with the impact of current global events. Alongside the exhibition was a panel discussion with Icelandic artists that offered further analysis of the direction and sensibilities of contemporary Icelandic digital art.

In Margrét’s discussion of the early years of LORNA, an association for electronic arts that she founded in 2002, she observed a certain skepticism towards digital technology and media art within the mainstream contemporary art scene. In recent years she has observed a change in attitude to a certain extent – the artists on the panel make it clear that this early skepticism is no longer valid when such erudite discussion concerning digital art and individual artistic practices. The artists on the panel, Geirþrúður Finnbogadóttir Hjörvar, Freyja Eilíf, Auður Lóa Guðnadóttir, and Fritz Hendrik Berndsen aka Fritz Hendrik IV, are part of the younger generation of artists obsessed with the split between the digital and non-digital in what could be referred to as a post-digital era. The discussion offered many valuable insights into the online exhibition from artists familiar with the concerns of the digital medium, for example, the overwhelming nature of the digital in our everyday life and how it becomes a tool both for fabrication and as a medium itself.

(Screenshot) Saemundur Thor Helgason’s Solar Plexus Pressure Belt Trailer, ‘Working Dead’

Saemundur Thor Helgason’s Solar Plexus Pressure Belt Trailer, ‘Working Dead,’ introduced the prototype of an anxiety-reducing device engineered and designed by the artist in collaboration with fashion designer Agata Mickiewicz. The work is a continuation of a larger project called ‘Félag Borgara’, (eng. Fellowship of Citizens) an interest group founded by the artist in Reykjavik in October 2017 with the aim of lobbying for basic income in Iceland through apolitical means. Solar Plexus Pressure Belt™, inspired by Saemundur Thor‘s own experiences as a creative practitioner suffering from anxiety and panic attacks in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, uses the digital medium as a platform for content as well as representation of its material embodiment. The Solar Plexus Pressure Belt™ combines elements of design and social activism in carrying out one of the earliest uses of the internet, that of using it as space where a truly democratic zone can transform certain elements of society. The design of the belt simulates a finger pressing into the solar plexus area, a motion and coping mechanism Saemundur Thor discovered would reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, offers a palliative solution to late capitalism.

Where Saemundur Thor investigates the body’s internalized reaction to feelings of stress and anxiety, Anna  Fríða Jónsdóttir’s ‘Thought Interpreter’ is the artists’ abstracted example of the mirroring of systems that every person assimilates on scales ranging from smaller bodily systems to massive societal systems and beyond. It is a representation of the way we are all connected through our biological engineering, mostly made of water. The artist asks: “Since water is the world’s best solvent, could something very personal from every living resident be residing underneath the city in the sewer system? Are we creating a sub-city of thoughts and emotions mirroring reality, a reflection of the overall emotional state of a city?” ‘Thought Interpreter’ is akin to walking in on a conversation through a medium whose language is nonverbal, subliminal. In light of the current global pandemic, the reality of an invisible, molecular disease that is carried between individuals and has changed the structure of many ways in which we carry out everyday life, it seems even more plausible to imagine the ‘Thought Interpreter’ as representing the conversation happening between our body and the world around us on a personal and global level.

(Screenshot) Anna Fríða Jónsdóttir’s ‘Thought Interpreter’ ( 2012). Jars, bathroom tiles, spoons, 9 servo motors, arduino.

In this way, the digital medium allows both Anna Fríða and Saemundur Thor the possibility to explore reality in an impossible way by creating a scenario for a possible world, implementing it as a digital reality, and entering it for effect. It is for this reason that the term ‘cyberspace’ was first coined by a Science fiction author, William Gibson, as it is literally the realm where possible futures begin to be implemented.

In the panel discussion, Geirþrúður Finnbogadóttir Hjörvar mentioned the post digital’s relationship to the post-apocalyptic as a historical manner and political scheme in which the ideas, programs and grand schemes come into play in an ideological sensibility that is becoming more and more pessimistic:

“We have abandoned this sense of progress and we are just living this dystopic unfolding of futuristic stuff but none of it seems to have any meaning so this dystopian sensibility has become so strong… the most relevant post-digital is the post-apocalyptic. It seems like we thought there would be an event but instead, it’s just a steady decline that leads to nowhere. That’s the idea of post-apocalypse, if we don’t have a vision of a future collectively, that’s what’s on offer, nothing apocalyptic, because that would be an event, but it’s just that things don’t happen.”

(Screenshot) Ágústa Ýr Guðmundsdóttir aka Ice Ice Baby Spice

Digital artist, Ágústa Ýr Guðmundsdóttir aka Ice Ice Baby Spice, readily embraces the digital realm as a studio, and as such, accepts the limitations of it as a zone of possibility for self-expression of her own anima through social media as well in her work digitizing fashion for casting directors and labels. The process of photographing, scanning, and editing brings many opportunities to investigate the aesthetics of the realm between the digital and the physical. When making videos, she uses a camera within a 3D world that she has made, and is using the same settings as a normal camera, moving it digitally instead of holding it physically.

In the panel talk, Geirþrúður, an artist from an earlier generation, also discussed how she has come to accept the digital world as her studio, however, she notes that the awe of what is possible that first overcame her in the first days of digital art affects how she looks at the materiality of the digital. Becoming recently interested in 3D modeling (which can be seen to great effect in her work featuring renderings of Real Estate advertisements), Geirþrúður said that the relief from physical law is a huge inspiration as she can decide to which degree what she creates in the digital space becomes material: “This also brings me to a sense of what is the materiality of the digital, so the more I get drawn into its immateriality, the more I also get interested in the materiality of the digital but also the materiality of real life, so it has this pretty intense dialectical relationship.”

This dialectical relationship between the two mediums is an eloquent conversation that is what makes the world(s) of digital art such a fascinating receptacle of processing how we live in the contemporary moment. Freyja Eilíf’s commentary in the panel discussion on what has intrigued her with the digital also relates to the processing of how we live in and of the digital in our everyday lives – she sees it as a hybrid reality that we are collaboratively creating with the digital realm: “I think of it as an alien, really, and something otherworldly. That’s what intrigues me about the internet. I also think about where it was before it became the internet. Was it just lying dormant?”

(Screenshot) Hákon Bragason, On a Branch, (2020)

In a similar thread of questioning the space of communication within the digital, as well as the longevity of digital spaces and their mechanism as a component of time is digital artist, Hákon Bragason´s 3D interactive work. In ‚On a Branch,‘ viewers become visitors in a virtual realm with its own illuminating sun that gives the sensation of experiencing the sun from another planet. The transportive world´s hazy pink glow features a lone tree, sketched with branches reaching towards the sun. Here the artist is able to examine the presence of people within a 3D internet space where it is not possible to have normal communication and people only are made aware of the presence of others through the number of leaves that appear on the tree. The non-verbal realm literally goes out on a branch to examine how we communicate presence as well as the mode in which history is recorded in the digital.

(Screenshot) Haraldur Karlsson´s ´Snæfellsnes Broadcast Station´

In ´Snæfellsness Broadcast Station, Haraldur Karlsson reports live from Snæfellsnes, the artist playfully presents the surrounding landscape in which he has created a simple set up of a wooden chair. A child occasionally shares the screen, waving to observers. Interspersed with the landscape scenes and the overlay of different video warping effects are weather maps of the Snæfellsnes peninsula with dramatic overlays of fire-spitting and tornadoes swirling. The work is seemingly a commentary on the role of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in local lore: it is the place where French author Jules Verne begins his 1871 Science Fiction classic,  Journey to the Center of the Earth, with entering a dormant volcano. The peninsula is also known for its heavy mythology of elven lore or ´Hidden People´. The lore attached to this geographic location in Iceland is now part of every marketing campaign introducing tourists to the area.

In the panel talk, Fritz Hendrik Berndsen discusses the way in which Icelandic art history is full of landscape paintings created before the digital marketing of Iceland to tourists began, but it´s also where it began because Icelandic painters did not appreciate the value of the landscape before Danish poets began writing about their majesty. In ´Snæfellsnes Broadcast Station,´ Haraldur portrays a landscape being consumed by the digital, however, it is not only happening on a consumer level, but as part of surveillance culture. “The Icelandic landscape has a completely different meaning after Google Earth appears because now, you’re not alone in nature,” added Geirþrúður in the panel discussion, “there’s always a satellite above you.”

In the context of Haraldur´s previous work with themes of expressing a holistic philosophy of science and art in which art reflects reality in its relation to man, the artist is the anti-hero, using the medium to be more human. There‘s always a Google Earth satellite even in the most isolated landscapes, making the world more known, and giving with it a „human angle“ permeated with the factors of being human, which also means seeing it, as Haraldur does with video editing software, through the historical prism of science and philosophy.

Erin Honeycutt


Photos: courtesy of the artists.


Acknowledgement: This text is commissioned by the project Digital Dynamics: New Ways of Art based on the book Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art

(Intellect, 2019) and supported by the Nordic Culture Fund and Nordic Council of Ministries. www.digitaldynamics.art

Between publication and exhibition with Lukas Kindermann’s Illustrated London News Editions

Between publication and exhibition with Lukas Kindermann’s Illustrated London News Editions

Between publication and exhibition with Lukas Kindermann’s Illustrated London News Editions

On March 7th, 2020, ´uns artbooks presented its second publication by artist Lukas Kindermann, in cooperation with Studio Studio. The publication is presented as an exhibition in the gallery formerly known as Maniere Noire in Berlin, where ´uns will be showcasing its future exhibitions. The small white cube is perfectly befitting the transference of the sensibilities of the artists‘ book into the spatial experience of a gallery.

Guðrún Benónýsdóttir has been operating ´uns plural for one since 2015. The aim of ´uns consists of publishing artistic (artist made) books and multiples and curating art shows in various contexts that are sensitive to how the environment, including the architecture of the space and the open discussion between the two forms of the books and the white cube; a similar way of thinking but with different materials. She explained to me that her affinity for moving between curating exhibitions and publication matters was a natural development of her investigation of the book format.

The work of Lukas Kindermann is an exceptional example of this aesthetic. In Kindermann’s Illustrated London News Editions, a novel perspective is given to the newspaper as an object of design history as well as a medium that once announced the present moment; it was New at one point in time. Today, in times of such unprecedented news, this expanded view of the ‘News’ medium as a historical object gives weight to both the technological present and the global arrival of time, change, and information. After all, the book form has always been the carrier of information that lasts the longest.

The edition marks the release of a series of works on The Illustrated London News, pen-plotter drawings over 19th-century engravings taken from the world’s first illustrated weekly news magazine. Kindermann´s publication is available in two different versions which focus on two different images whose titles come from the captions of the original The Illustrated London News images: THE HORSES` MORNING BATH AT CALCUTTA & LOADING SAND – PAS DE CALAIS: THREATENING WEATHER. The two images are opposite in nature as one highlights the main scene while the other puts the focus on the margins. In both cases, the final images are highly dramatic in their own way with the very loud and busy action of the bathing horses in the water and the dark and silent horse-drawn buggy on the beach.

The London Illustrated News publication is based on the same series of pen plotter ink drawings that Kindermann exhibited at The Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, ´Distant Matter´ with Katrín Agnes Klar in 2018. The artist has since been expanding on his interest in the similarity of hatchings in historic engravings and those used in his pen plotter drawings when he started to collect original historic engravings several years ago. “If you look in close detail,” he says, “you can find structures in 16th-century engravings that are very similar to today’s 3D mesh.”

As part of his artistic process, the collection of historical material provides an interesting perspective on the changing techniques of image creation over time. When the opportunity arose to purchase a huge collection of original prints from The Illustrated London News it fell very much in line with these techniques of image creation as the Illustrated London News marks the beginning of mass media images, providing an incredible view of the continuum of the types of news images being consumed from then to now. Being the first global illustrated weekly newspaper, it marks a historic moment in media, building the foundation of the images we are now inundated with. “Flipping through the sheets in my studio, I often realize that there are in fact many similarities between today’s and the 19th century’s news images.”

It is these similarities that Kindermann expands upon throughout the previous series of pen plotter drawings over historic material which includes original engravings from different centuries, for example, early encyclopedias like ‘Cosmographia’, the earliest German-language description of the world, published by Sebastian Münster in 1544. ‘Cosmographia’ and other prints he has worked with come from publications that represent the state-of-the-art during their time of publication. And as has been the nature of the book since printing began, it showcases the apex of knowledge and technical possibilities for the time. Print culture represents the culture and credibility surrounding the book form that was especially crucial in Early Modern scientific works such as Münster’s ‘Cosmographia’. In Kindermann’s work, he uses the history of print culture to realize the role of visual representations as mediatory instances between practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge, using the interaction between images and texts to reveal the synthesizing potential of images to bring fragments of knowledge together to create a global picture. On many of the historical materials he uses, his overlaying pen plotter drawings are purposeful in guiding the information that is synthesized between image and text.

“Most pen plotter drawings on engravings are covering the main motive of the images which leads the viewers’ attention to the side scenarios of the original engravings. The black elements consist of fine grids that are drawn by the pen plotter with a black ink pen. Basically, they are very thin hatchings; or, contemporary media techniques overlapping historic techniques. I only made a very few exceptions where I highlighted the main spectacle of the prints through a circle such as in „The Horses Morning Bath at Calcutta“. On one hand, it can be good to break up your own rules, while on the other hand, it has to do with the images themselves and how they are constructed. I’m interested to see how the images are changed by my interruption.”

Newspaper, 40 pages, 35 x 50 cm, 2019, published in an edition of 100 signed and numbered copies by ‘uns artbooks Berlin/Reykjavík.

“The publication, THE HORSES` MORNING BATH AT CALCUTTA & LOADING SAND – PAS DE CALAIS: THREATENING WEATHER, follows clear principles,” says Kindermann. “Basically, it consists of two enlarged works which are pen plotter drawings over two London Illustrated News sheets, which I scanned, had blown up, cut to single sheets and, finally, folded like a newspaper.”

Working closely with Studio Studio, a design studio based in Reykjavik, smaller details were developed that one may overlook without holding the object in hand. For example, that the 100 copies are published with mirroring titles in two different versions of 50 copies each: one Version starting with „The Horses Morning Bath“ on the first page and the other version staring with „Loading Sand“. It is possible to take one version of the publication and order it the other way around so that the result is another version. The result is a highly transformable object, instead of a clearly defined book, which the viewer can read/view in different ways with a varying combination of image/text in each instance of the fragment vs. the whole. It is at once a newspaper, a kind of graphic novel-style book, as well as a large scale print to put on a wall. In the different combinations caused by the order of the sheets, there are accidental combinations that Kindermann left to chance, a conceptual approach towards the publication as an art object.

 

Erin Honeycutt

The publication has been printed in the UK, like the originals, but this time in Glasgow by a small printing press specialized in newspapers connected to the Glasgow School of Art. The publication is made possible with generous support by Erwin und Gisela von Steiner-Stiftung, München.

Lukas Kindermann, born 1984, is a Munich based visual artist. He graduated from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design / ZKM and the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. Among others his works have been shown at the Living Art Museum, Reykjavík (IS), Haus der Kunst, Munich (GER), Reykjavík Art Museum (IS), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (GER), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (AT), National Centre for Contemporary Arts, St. Petersburg (RU), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (FR).

https://studio-studio.net/

https://www.uns-artbooks.net/about/

http://gudrunbenonys.net/about-index

Photos by Lukas Kindermann

Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s assistants on the outside looking in (from the inside)

Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s assistants on the outside looking in (from the inside)

Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s assistants on the outside looking in (from the inside)

Recently on view at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin from September 28th, 2019 to January 5, 2020, was a retrospective of Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s work To Catch a Fish with a Song: 1964 – Today. It was organized in partnership with Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève where the exhibition was on view from 24 May – 25 August, 2019, coinciding with a new book on the artist’s career launched in Geneva and Berlin. 

Befitting the intricate storylines of Hreinn Friðfinsson’s work, which often contain notions of time interwoven with revelation and concealment, I decided to talk to three of his current and former assistants about the artist instead of taking the usual research routes into the gathering information. I realized while walking around the exhibition To Catch A Fish With Song at KW that, although I had been writing about Icelandic art for a few years now and had even interned at his gallery, I8, in Reykjavik, for a year, the artist had somehow slipped from my focus.

HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON Correspondence, 1991-2014 envelopes, paper 14 x 18.2 cm. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.Hreinn Friðfinnsson Correspondence, 1991-2014 envelopes, paper 14 x 18.2 cm. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

An opportunity to study his work closely never arrived, and perhaps, I never felt the push as he is such a mythological figure in the Icelandic art world, like a godfather of Conceptual art in Iceland. He is often mentioned in context with the brothers Sigurður and Kristján Guðmundsson of his generation, who studied in Holland in the 1970’s and returned to Iceland, mixing the international modes of conceptual art with a distinctly poetic Icelandic gesture, really using our connotations with words as a work in itself in this fluid play with words. I always got this sense that there was a level of respect that you just have for the Eddas and poetry in general when you grow up in Iceland. I always thought about these old stories about how poets in the Sagas didn’t use swords or, but if you wanted to fight you would have a battle with words as though they were real physical weapons themselves. What these magic words are I have often thought about, especially in making a connection to a specifically Icelandic style of conceptual art. 

HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON House Project, First House, 1974 Mixed media. Courtesy of i8 Gallery. Hreinn Friðfinnsson House Project, First House, 1974 Mixed media. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

Perhaps I never wanted to penetrate the elusive figure of Hreinn and rather wanted to keep him in this lofty and unreachable place of inexplicable poetry that was somehow tied into a tradition of poetry that the language just oozes, in the way it adjusts to situations and objects, like a phenomenological lens of the world in itself. This is very much an outsider of the language looking in, although I speak it enough to get by, but not with an inner sense for the language. I don’t have a feel for words. This was the golden halo I had wrapped Hreinn inside, faithful to the truth or not, at least it was conceptual. I was familiar with Hreinn through the exhibition and book called Homecomings edited by Annabelle von Girsewald and Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch, which looked at Georges Perec’s Espèces d’espaces (Species of Spaces, 1974) in the context of Hreinn’s House Project which also launched in 1974.  In talking to his assistants, I saw the form of my gaining knowledge of the artist as being akin to this most sustaining narrative work of his career, the House Project (1974 – ), which began as a gesture that would successively take many different forms.

“In the summer of 1974, a small house was built in the same fashion as Sólon Guðmundsson intended to do about half a century ago, that is to say, an inside-out house. It was completed on the 21st of July. It is situated in an unpopulated area of Iceland, and in a place from which no other man-made objects can be seen. The existence of this house means that ‘outside’ has shrunk to the size of a closed space formed by the walls and the roof of the house. The rest has become ‘inside’. The house harbors the whole world except itself.” (1 Hreinn Friðfinnsson, House Project: First House, Second House, Third House (Crymogea, Reykjavík, 2012).)

HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON House Projcet, Third House, 2011 stainless steel 64.027060, -22.070652. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.Hreinn Friðfinnsson House Project, Third House, 2011 stainless steel 64.027060, -22.070652. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

Sólon, to add another layer to the project, is a character set in 1912 in the novel ‘Íslenskur aðall,’ (“Icelandic Aristocracy,” published in 1938 by Þórbergur Þórðarsson. Using the story of Sólon, the artist made an inquiry into the boundaries of space, an inquiry that has continued to unfold in different iterations. The work continuously shapes to its environment through dematerializing by making an inversion of the surroundings or by mirroring them. In my conversations with his assistants, their perspectives of the artist become a metaphorical practice in the exterior of the house of Sólon looking in at the character of the artist known as Hreinn Friðfinnsson. His assistants are the outside looking in (from the inside). 

 

Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson, former assistant 

Hreinn is on the phone with the whole world. He just sits at home and calls whoever he’s working with. When he’s producing work or a show, I feel like he is a puppet master.

Or maybe it’s better to put it this way: he will get an idea that has something to do with astrophysics, let’s say, and then he’ll call an astrophysicist in Iceland that he knows and asks him how something works and why some object is turning like that. And then he’ll get an idea for something physical so he calls a carpenter in The Netherlands and starts building something, and then calls the assistants, and then he calls the gallery. He calls a hundred times in one day and then everything sort of falls into place. I’ve always been very fascinated by his way of working. I think it is interesting that he isn’t working in the studio himself but he makes these correspondences, directing this whole process of conceptual art production. 

At the end of the day, it is all Hreinn. That’s the fascinating thing is that he is so brilliant at capturing ideas that otherwise would just fly by. Often people all around him are, in a way, reflecting on something that he’s talking about and then this idea of a work comes into the open. He’s really good at capturing these ideas going on on the telephone, calling immediately the next day someone who starts working on it. So, what I meant to say is that I think there are a lot of people around him that play a big role in his way of making things that in the end, of course, are his creation. Even though he is a conceptual artist working with found things and readymades, there is still this Friðfinnsson style. 

He is definitely a super storytelling artist and he uses text especially in his 1970’s work. It was really what he was busy with just combining text and images, but also Icelandic ghost stories, so he’s really a good example of an artist who is big with storytelling, even though later it is maybe less. His work is not literary, but when I am with him in his house, he is always making up stories, rhymes, even raps, especially after I was infecting him with my rap practice. He was immediately coming up with some rap lyrics because he comes from that old Icelandic tradition. So he has that really in him, deeply rooted, to make up rhymes and that’s really amazing. 

I think Hreinn is a sorcerer at times in his works. He doesn’t know physics on an expert level but he uses it in this way that you describe that is like a kind of sorcery. He is even like a sorcerer in the way his phone conversations is him just picking up the phone, without even having an agenda, and he becomes like a bit-torrent that is just downloading as long as he’s reaching out to people. I imagine it’s like a remedy for any artist to just be active making phone calls and emails and slowly having everything assemble into a whole show.

HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON A View in A (1), 1976 black and white photograph 52.5 x 64.5 cm. Courtesy of i8 gallery. HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON A View in A (1), 1976 black and white photograph 52.5 x 64.5 cm. Courtesy of i8 gallery.

Hrafnhildur Helgadóttir, current assistant 

There is a word that kept coming up during the process of making the publication, which ended up not being in the publication, a word that was often used to describe Hreinn: Titlaflakk. Literally, titla (title) flakk (wanderer). 

Being busy with the archive and the chronology of his work we were really going through his whole career, and for people who are working with the installation, we saw how some titles return again and again. In the 1980s, everything was untitled which was very popular then, but very annoying for registration. 

For example, Above and Below hasn’t been with a title for ages until now. It’s almost like a work can be seen as being in process until the title comes. In the publication, you can even trace the title of the works and how they changed. For a lot of artists, this is part of their practice. It was nice to put it in the book as an official thing. Sometimes I’ll come to the studio and suddenly there is a title where there wasn’t one before. Sometimes just one word inside of a title has changed, such as ‘my’ sky or ‘your’ sky. 

Also, all the people who work for him have nicknames for works as well. For example, a video work at KW made in 2018/2019 of Hreinn’s hand and a candle. Like many of his works, it is an illustration of scientific discovery. The staff nickname is ‘reaching out’ but the official title is: Reaching out: left-hand shadow sent on a journey to infinity through the window in the small room. Once you project the shadow in space there is nothing keeping it in the room…. It is on a trajectory to infinity. Words chosen have to carry the meaning. It took months to choose what the title was going to be and moving between English, Icelandic, and Dutch. It was almost like knitting.

The title of the show, How to Catch a Fish With a Song, comes from a series of text works by Hreinn called Clues because they are actually sentences taken from NY Times crossword puzzles. Hreinn doesn’t know the answer to the puzzle.

HREINN FRIÐFINNSSON Seven Times, 1979 seven black and white photographs each: 29,8 x 20,3 cm. Courtesy of i8 Gallery. Hreinn Friðfinnsson Seven Times, 1979 seven black and white photographs each: 29,8 x 20,3 cm. Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

Halla Einarsdóttir, current assistant 

He is fluid with words, but also a bit greedy. For example, if he liked a title he would put it on several things and as time went by he would neglect the fact that he had already used it. Greedy in a funny way, but at the same time very ready to cancel out the fact that he has already used it. He can also be controversial with himself which was a funny wall to hit constantly as we were gathering things for the publication. We came across the fact that he is writing his history with this book, so there is a constant struggle because with some works, which is also perfectly his decision, but works he didn’t like to take out of the canon but the editors liked it. So it was a constant back and forth process.

He basically had to trace his life from the 1960s, emotionally as well. It was amazing how much he remembers and is very quick to remember. It’s this self autobiographical work with the fence that began my archiving part. It’s basically that he walked, when he was 24 or 25, since he comes from the west of Iceland on a farm, for a summer job for two years where he was guiding a fence that had been set up because of the sheep disease. It was an insane distance, like 50 km every other day. He would walk one distance and his brothers would drive and pick him up. He made this work in 2014/15. I was reading these yearbooks from a newspaper around this area and from then on it escalated and I started to scan his archive which was loads of work. As Hrafnhildur probably mentioned, he hasn’t been consistently updating the archive. I picked up where Styrmir had made his own logic and it wasn’t until then that I realized how great it is to have many people in on the logic of organizing it. 

Conclusion

Styrmir observes that Hreinn is on the phone with the whole world like a distant puppet master, or a “bit-torrent that is just downloading as long as he’s reaching out to people.” Hrafnhildur observes Hreinn as being a ‘title wanderer’, never settling on a name for an artwork and letting it drift throughout his career, signifying his careful attention to words to specify artworks or to connect them to otherwise disparate works. Halla observes the importance of having many people involved in the logic of organizing an archive. Hreinn is writing his own history, being controversial with himself, writing his own history, being ‘greedy’ with words and wanting to use it everywhere. Hreinn’s assistants give us a different perspective on the artist, clues to the artist that are poetic, indirect, and perfectly befitting, just as the title for the show at KW was borrowed from a NY Times Crossword puzzle clue for which the answer is irrelevant. The clue to the answer contains all the poetry and points of departure needed, like a Koan for which there is no answer but the thought processes involved in trying to solve it are the answer itself.

Erin Honeycutt  

 

Cover picture: Hreinn Friðfinnsson, House Project Fourth House, 2017, polished stainless steel, 255 x 325 x 195. Courtesy of i8 gallery.

“You are the Input” by Ingunn Fjóla Ingthorsdóttir at Gallerie Herold, Bremen

“You are the Input” by Ingunn Fjóla Ingthorsdóttir at Gallerie Herold, Bremen

“You are the Input” by Ingunn Fjóla Ingthorsdóttir at Gallerie Herold, Bremen

Arriving on the train to Bremen, I found the artist-run Galerie Herold by following a set of abandoned train tracks from the station. Upon arriving in the gallery, I stood in the main door frame and looked into the exhibition by Ingunn Fjóla Ingthorsdóttir, seeing the alignment of three frames in perfect alignment ahead of me. As I stood in the doorway and looked into the exhibition, the last frame caught the exact outline of a panel of pastel pink on the far wall; framed in such a way, it seemed as though a panel of pink glass was set in the last frame. This same optical illusion occurred every time the frames spun into alignment with one of the pastel panels on the wall.

The impression was of being in the middle of an optical illusion on a scale fit for the human body, especially because on the floor of the space was lightly drawn a grid-like pattern; the exhibition’s title, You are the Input, added to the impression that the optical illusion was about perspective in painting and emphasized the way in which the input of the viewer has already shaped and interpreted the scene just by looking. However, in this exhibition, the viewer is invited to go further than looking and actually interact with the scene by rolling the bright red snooker balls across the floor, hearing their light ‘smack’ into each other, and spinning the frames on their axis to create new variations of the scene as they fall into and out of alignment with the pastel-painted panels spaced throughout the room. The title also refers to inputs in systems as the installation can be seen as a systematic pattern that is disrupted by the input of visitors.

The round red balls could be a button of some kind in which moving them from one location to another sets a system into motion that follows a sequence unbeknownst to the visitor. The round red balls could also be all the uses of circular spheres ever, not to mention, the demarcation on a map in which the red dot symbolizes where you are. This implication pushed the perspectival study at play in the exhibition into a much wider study of the body in space. I soon began to experience the exhibition as though I were in a landscape painting.

What is incredible about Ingunn Fjóla’s installation is that she sees painting as being the starting point for her practice. With the perspectival inquiry of a painter, her installation takes as cue all of the changeable factors that go into the act of painting as well as the viewing of a painting. Among the moveable materials are frames that can be set into rotation on a center axis, reiterating the notion of the frame as being something the viewer has a choice in the extent of their engagement. As well, the way in which frames represent a certain ruling function in aesthetic experience is brought up for questioning. The frame, instead of being a ruling factor, becomes part of the shifting perception of the space. In conversation with the artist, she told me more about her relationship with painting:

“I have always seen painting as the foundation of my art practice, even though I am not a very typical painter, as I usually make installations or three-dimensional work. I am very interested in the history of painting, especially abstract painting and the evolution of what is often called expanded painting. But my relationship to painting is also full of contradictions. The question of how to do something new within this old and loaded medium is a challenge that fascinates at the same time as it frightens.”

While there is something of the systematic in the installation, like a human-scale model of systems theory, its participatory nature is like an analog recreation of something we are more familiar with through a digital interface, whether it be a videogame, or simply navigating apps on your phone. It is as though the viewer is shown the way in which the relativity of perception cannot be understood without the process of looking. As a model of a possible universe, the exhibition (and art in general), offers a way to observe the special significance of the role of the eye in perceiving and the influence of frames of varying kinds.

This is perhaps where Ingunn Fjóla’s question of how to do something new with the medium is most striking. It is a slow exhibition, however, revealing itself to you as you spend more time looking. Other questions arise the longer you stay, such as, what is the meaning behind the outer frame being the only non-geometric pattern in the space (it is painted in an unfinished manner, greatly contrasting with the rest of the monochrome swaths of the space). Also, the backs of the frames have been curiously painted half yellow on two corners and half matte grey on the other.

As I helped the gallery manager reset the exhibition, which meant placing all of the bright red snooker balls on circular placeholders at the intersections of a grid-pattern drawn on the floor of the two rooms of the exhibition and setting all of the frames into alignment, the manager tells me that the bright yellow paint on the frames match the pastel yellow-painted in panels on the walls, but only at certain hours. At this hour (5 pm on a Sunday), it does not correspond to the light arriving from the windows, but I believe her.

“I love painting (the texture of paint, the colours, the painting strokes, the scent, the canvas, the frame, etc.), but at the same time, I feel very restricted by the two-dimensional picture plane. For me, both the making of painting and viewing painting is a very bodily experience that involves all of the senses. That’s why I usually make works where the viewers have to move around to experience it, take it in through their bodies. My interest in the viewers experience has in my most recent works evolved into making the viewers become a more significant part of the work, as the guests of the exhibitions activate the works, sometimes by their actions or touch or sometimes just by their mere presence in the room (where I have used motion sensors).”

In the exhibition, painting is an idea and an experience in which we are creatively involved, although not necessarily through painting, and are not merely passive consumers of images. You are the Input takes the viewer back to the phenomenology of painting. A new mode of painting emerges that brings more than ocular centric perception. A bodily engagement with the world as it occurs on the boundaries between the body and its surroundings, or as an overlap between perceiver and surroundings, in a way that links bodies, movement, and objects into a unified system. The painter tries to catch the movement from what is sensed, felt and seen from the small details of perception to perception within a universal sphere.

 

Erin Honeycutt

 

 

The exhibition You are the Input was on view from September 13th to October 13th at Galerie Herold in Bremen, Germany.

Photos courtesy of Franziska von den Driesch.

Dreaming While Curating Mild Humidity – The (Digital) Age of Aquarius / Litils Háttar Væta – Stafræn öld vatnsberans

Dreaming While Curating Mild Humidity – The (Digital) Age of Aquarius / Litils Háttar Væta – Stafræn öld vatnsberans

Dreaming While Curating Mild Humidity – The (Digital) Age of Aquarius / Litils Háttar Væta – Stafræn öld vatnsberans

The digital world is a dream world of a sort. We are online in virtual reality not geographically locatable yet still encased in a persona as an extension of our offline selves.  The body is often seen as a container for the mind. When Donna Haraway expressed the idea of the cyborg as a hybrid entity between human and technology and/or information networks, she shifted away from the idea of the human being as the sole bearer of consciousness.

Where does our dreaming body end and virtual reality begin?

It is not unusual to closely connect the art world and dreamworld, especially as artworks have an ability to connect many disparate layers of reality on a personal and social level. However, art essentially is at a distance from reality, which may possibly make it more easy to heighten certain fictive aspects of reality.

Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar, Real Estate #2, 2019. Photo by Gústav Geir Bóllason.

Two artists, Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar and Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir, approached me with an exhibition proposal based on fluid networks of the internet, esotericism, and poetic conceptualism under the title Mild Humidity – The (Digital) Age of Aquarius. Based on the model of a horizontal network (also fluid) without hegemony, the artists chose the curator rather than the curator choosing the artists. I was intrigued.

I had first been exposed to the idea of the Age of Aquarius when I was younger in books about the Mayan Calendar by Jose Arguelles, for example. The Mexican archaeologist writes about how the Mayan Calendar aligns with the ages of the Western Zodiac, marking shifts in epochs of humanity from the perspective of both cultures. There is also the prevalent idea that the Age of Aquarius is one in which humanity will be able to manipulate their own dreams as one would in a lucid dream, waking up to the fact that reality is a sort of waking dream state. Perhaps the Age of Aquarius brings with it an ability to sense inner states such as the dream state as fluidly as we navigate virtual realities.

Exhibition view, Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar, Real Estate #2, 2019. Photo by Gústav Geir Bóllason.

In this sense, the dream I had while curating the exhibition in a former herring factory transformed into an exhibition space on the North coast of Iceland, Verksmiðjan á Hjalteyri, is worth mentioning as information about the exhibition that is not critique, review, nor part of the exhibition text, but more of a side note from the curatorial journal. The former herring factory still holds traces of its former life in the upper floors where the herring (considered the blood of the nation as it was the main economic support for decades and actually has red blood) was taken by conveyor belt from the boats and processed. The strong presence of the exhibition space’s former incarnation added to a feeling of the exhibition taking place inside a living entity that operated with its own particular logic.

In Pétur Már Gunnarson’s iPad (2019), an ink print of a scanned image picks up the smudges of the users’ fingers tracing the everyday operation of the device. The outlines mark the importance of the fingers (also known as digits) in operating digital environments. When the device is on it is literally the world in your hand. When off, it becomes a black mirror with traces of your bodily presence. The question of depth in relation to the internet is brought to attention as the image is reminiscent of photos taken from outer space.

The Age of Aquarius brings with it many disparate connotations. Chief among them is an association with an era always on the brink of arriving. The actual dates of its arrival are contested, as are definitive statements on what will happen once it arrives, or what it means now that we are possibly living in the Age of Aquarius. While not being strictly part of astronomy, the Age of Aquarius is part of an astrological age occurring because of the cycle of precessions of the equinoxes. Each cycle lasts 25,800 years, equivalent to the passing of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac. About every 2,150 years, the sun moves towards the sign of a new zodiac constellation. The Age of Aquarius, therefore, begins when the Spring Equinox moves from the constellation of Pisces into the constellation of Aquarius. The dates for when this occurs/will occur varies from 1447 to 3597 AD.

The idea is that each astrological age affects humanity, therefore influencing cultural tendencies. With Aquarius being associated with electricity, cybernetics, democracy, humanitarianism, modernization, rebellion, and science fiction, it is thought by many astrologers that the 20th century is a likely time for the arrival of the Age of Aquarius or at least a precursor. In Mild Humidity – The (Digital) Age of Aquarius, the aesthetic of this ever-elusive tomorrow is embraced by using water as a metaphor for the subconscious. The digital logic of contemporaneity is built on the fluidity of information, the same fluidity that guides the subconscious. In this way, telepathy and the open narrative systems of the internet are the key components to a hive mentality of networks that usher in a new era.

After a conversation with one of the artists who wrote the proposal, Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar, elements of her sculptural installations, as she told me about her process in creating them, weaved their way into a dream sequence after a few days of my researching the topics at hand. In some ways the dream sequence allowed me to visually and mentally comprehend the overlapping of contexts that the artist was intending to realize in her artworks, Glass Matrix and Real Estate #2, in a dream logic before actualizing them in the space of the exhibition. Because of the nature of the subject matter of the artist’s inquiry, this seemed especially fitting.

Pura Sangre, Film Poster. Source: Senalcolombia.tv

Pura Sangre, or Pure Blood, by Luis Ospina, is a film that is seen as a key work of Tropical Goth cinema that marks a development in the work of Grupo de Cali filmmakers in a shift from documentary work to narrative feature films. Pura Sangre is a satire on Colombian landowners and the vampirism of Latin American capitalism, inspired by a story from Ospina’s youth, an urban legend about a vampiric figure who preyed on the blood of young men. In the film, this vampiric figure is a bedridden sugar tycoon who communicates with the outside world via closed-circuit Television while being kept alive by blood transfusions.

In Geirþruður’s Real Estate #2, black and white photographs of real estate advertisements and real estate agencies taken by the artist in Cali, Colombia have been pasted on MDF board at specific mirrored angles to create a self-supporting structure. The artist explores one definition of a matrix as being a mathematical structure while also alluding to its topology which can be considered as space on a grid. The artist plays with the idea of an ´X´ and ´Y’ axis as indexes for Cartesian space that determine our perception of reality by placing a board at an intersection, therefore, becoming an axis. The physical action of constructing a building is made transparent in the work. Pasted on top of the matrix she has built is the concept of private property in real estate. The black and white photography alludes to the real estate enterprise while harking to the genre of Tropical Goth and the link between political parables and vampiric tales of power relations.

For Glass Matrix, the artist told me about her plan to use a screenshot from a digitized reproduction of the classic painting The Ghent Altarpiece (The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb), dating to 1482, the most famous work by the Dutch Van Eyck brothers. I then read an article about recent discoveries on the painting revealing drastic differences in the overpaint vs the original layers. And, after watching Pura Sangre, I dreamed that the opening sequence of technicians preparing the decrepit sugar tycoon for his blood transfusions were the same technicians analyzing the overpaint on the painting.

 

 Jan van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece (all 12 panels), 1432, oil on panel, 461 x 350 cm

In Geirþrúður’s sculptural installation, Glass Matrix, the artist continues to explore the meaning of a matrix from the perspective of origin myths as well as that of modern-day information technology, in this case, the digitization of paintings. The topology of space is examined as it occurs at these intersections. The artist uses a standard retail fitting made for display in shop windows, with its grid-like shape, as a matrix itself – one could say it is the matrix of techno-capitalism in which we are all embedded, and in which the idea of private property holds precedence. Intersecting the glass grid is a foam plane on which is pasted a screenshot of an open web browser of a digitization of a detail of The Ghent Altarpiece, an unidentifiable scan of Eve’s womb.

Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar, Real Estate #2, 2019. Photo by Gústav Geir Bóllason.

In the dream, I approached the glass retail display case, as described to me by Geirþrúður in real life, expecting to find real estate brochures in black and white, the only kind that had been printed in the last thirty years. Unceremoniously, all real estate images had been turned into black and white images as though the geographical point at which they existed had become taken out of what could be considered a fully human experience with all the color in the living flesh that living not in the context of dust can bring. In the dream logic, one lived in a reality of flesh-colored hues when living outside the context of dust. Living outside of the context of this dust (likely, a dream texture referencing cocaine) meant living in an empire not fueled by the zombified desires and inflated infatuations of a dust taken so far from its plant source that it has been stripped of any earthly matrices.

The ones who furnish the masses with the dust turn into vampires by their repeated cutting through a plastic commotion until the dust has soaked all of their blood, and slowly all their blood is replaced by a colorless space reserved for dust. This is what makes them such good real estate moguls; they reserve space for dust inside their body as a mechanism that keeps them alive. Naturally, it happens outside in the form of real estate.

Jan van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece (detail from central panel), 1432, oil on panel, 461 x 350 cm

In the dream, I was surprised to find that the glass real estate display case, true to the reality of the actual work, had been cut into by a blown-up image of the Van Eyck painting of a lamb within a larger matrix of works. It was as if the image of the Van Eyck painting was a knife that arrived with force to wedge itself into the glass case, causing no dishevelment to the structure of the displace case, besides the presence of this new matrix of space that created new correlations with the glass plane that divides the cubic squares of the display case in a new topology of imagined real estate brochures and the representation of the surface of this 15th century painting under the auspices of the kind of scans available in 2019.

Geirþrúður Finnbógadóttir Hjörvar, Real Estate #2, 2019. Photo by Gústav Geir Bóllason.

The image cutting into the glass real estate was a detail of the lamb on the central panel with the area behind the lamb’s left hear blown up into a mass of grey digitized texture, arriving from a long way off in either its pixelization or its trip from the past to the present. I had read recently, in waking life, that an overpaint layer had been discovered on the lamb’s face, laughing at myself mimicking the two expressions in my own manner. Two side by side images shows the lamb in its original form with a neutral expression, indifferent, allowing the story of Christ to play itself out unhindered. What had been painted over the lamb’s face was a few marks here and there that turned the expression into one of grave concern and alarm, a direct message to viewers that they should be alarmed at the unraveling of historic events as well.

Detail of the head of the lamb before and after treatment.

The texture of information that gives a sense of realness to a matrix of space and how the textures of each matrix allow each other to exist at multifocal points began to reveal itself. It began in the same manner of the opening of Pura Sangre: Blood spattered the walls of the boarding house. Walking amongst the rooms one could find, unsurprisingly, more blood and the slain bodies it belonged to, along with roosters nonchalantly investigating the scene.

The real film sequence continued in the dream sequence. In the red light of a photosynthesis lab, a technician developed film with precision, running his fingers over the final development in search for a clue.

Still from Pura Sangre (1982). Source: Youtube

The role of the technician became parallel with a new role easily developed from that of a film lab technician: that of flossing the teeth of animals so that they could speak the same language as humans. The solo technician became one of many in a team devoted to the process of rendering this possibility. They began with the construction of a kind of marionette, an invention that made it possible for the technicians to hold the control-piece with one hand. The control-piece was attached to several looping layers of dental floss that created a canopy in which the head of four different animals could be placed.

Of course, the rooster that had been found investigating the bloody scene at the boarding house was the first one to try it out. They opened the beak of the rooster and placed the loops of dental floss inside it while with other nodes they attached to some bits of feathers for effect. The notion they were exploring was that the dental floss could activate the linguistic abilities of the rooster because of the specific texture in the floss, the tiny hint of spearmint, and the friction it created with the teeth of other species.

Alas, the rooster was silent. The floss began to untangle itself like the electricity had been turned off while the rooster flitted its head right to left and front to back, unconcerned, but curious about the trial and error.

Then came an Irish Setter, with the same results and even less curiosity involved in the process in which it had become involved in. The Irish Setter leaped down with the apparatus attached, tongue extended, tongue not giving way to any notions of speaking another language. It was a matter of teeth, that could be seen for certain.

Next came a rabbit; again, the same unconcern but willingness to participate. The teeth were a part of the whole matrix of nose and ears in a way that made the rabbit wiggle and sniff and leap away. Again, a matter of the mouth structure, the tongue, the opening and closing of the lips and teeth.

Finally, the lamb arrived, calmly and judiciously, it stood waiting to be involved with the apparatus of dental floss. The technicians and I stood around him taking notes and observing how language might erupt from such textures. What combining factors of bone, lip, saliva, tongue, and the crevices in between where the dental floss erupted could contribute to a poetic relation conducive to producing speech? The lamb licked his lips, getting a bit snagged on floss where it was wedged from his mouth to the heavens, but after a few licks and labiodental activation, the floss could be heard in its textured resonance give way to a grain of a voice, like a radio station tuning into a channel on Saturn, arriving from a long distance, ever-present yet not always revealed because of this sensitivity to textures, surface weaves and warps, the mind of Van Eyck as he applied the paint and made the texture, the blood and the coke heterogeneously built into the real estate, the real estate being a topology where all these things meet and erupt.

The blood spurting from the lamb’s heart in the painting was the same blood found in the 1982 thriller, creating an interstitial realm where the poetic imagery of blood was allowed to roam freely as dream logic. (Not to mention the blood of the herring that the exhibition space had been built for!) The technicians in the dream tested a new experiment about the origins of language in the soft palate of the mouth, a simple activation of gum pressure via dental floss. The dream technicians moved seamlessly amongst the investigations of the blood lab technicians in Pura Sangre and the technicians analyzing the overpaint in The Ghent Altarpiece in reality in the 21st century as though they all took place in a dimension. As Geirþrúður explored the meaning of a matrix from the perspective of origin myths and modern-day information technology in her sculptural installations, the dream tried in its own way to examine the intersections of these topologies, while also situating itself in a new topology: that of the dreamworld of the curator.

 

Erin Honeycutt

 

Sources: http://www.flanderstoday.eu/van-eycks-original-lamb-uncovered-ghent-altarpiece

Thanks to Geirþrúður for edits and feedback on relaying dream logic through narrative.

UA-76827897-1

Pin It on Pinterest