Curating The presence at Wind and weather window gallery
In the dark days of the New Year, January and February 2017, Wind and Weather Window Gallery presents The Presence, an artist performance series in three parts featuring the Oracle, the Consultant, and the Masseuse. Each role will be representative of different aspects of presence. Varying formats will mediate the scene, which will be recorded and live-streamed at artzine.is, as well as projected at different times throughout the series from the artzine website, Hverfisgallerí in Reykjavík, the Queens Collective, a community art center in the Medina of Marrakech, Morocco, and at Tranzit, a comtemporary art network in Lași, Romania. The window will act as a portal to elsewhere, just as video spans dimensions, present yet infinitely distant.
The series will begin with the Madame Lilith, the oracle and deer messenger, passing from this world to another through the medium of video in the body of Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir. The Oracle brings information about infinite presence with the help of tools to carry the information. When the Oracle is not present in body, she will be present through video. In Ásdís’ previous incarnations of performance she has used video to explore perception and the projection of the poetic imagination onto objective representations. In collaboration with artist, Kathy Clark, the Oracle arrives in this dimension by way of set and setting. Through infinite presence, we see how different layers of mediation are played out in reality.
The Consultant, embodied by Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, will provide services through her window office in the bureau of internal affairs. The office will work as a structure through which the intangible world can reach the mundane. It is through structures such as offices that the officiality of transactions goes unquestioned. Therefore, it is the chosen infiltration setting for the Consultant to serve her role as detective of the poetic imagination. An omnipresence who sees and knows all, she explores the contexts of situations client by client.
In the month of February, Katrin Inga Jónsdóttir Hjördísardóttir will present The Friction of Art through the intimate service of the foot massage. Katrin explores the friction between the viewer and the performer through this intimate exchange of giving and receiving. She aims to relay the sincerity with which art is working in service to society. Art can be as intimate and sincere as a foot massage, although she shows us blatantly how so. The foot massage is a metaphor for what artists do on other levels, carrying on the knowledge of teaching intimate presence.
(See full Schedule below)
Kathy Clark, curator of Wind and Weather Window Gallery and collaborator in The Presence, has been holding exhibitions for the past three years at Hverfisgata 37. Kathy works in sculptural installations and found objects in her studio beyond the window gallery. The exhibition space incorporates a quotidian atmosphere in which everyone is part as passersby can experience the exhibition from the street. I spoke with Kathy while work on The Presence was underway to find out more.
Do you feel that the studio makes an impact on how things are composed in the gallery, and/or vice versa?
They are quite separate. It was in the beginning just me showing my work and then I started going to openings and meeting people. Later, I started asking people if they were interested in showing in my window gallery and everyone was really excited at the idea. Because people are walking and driving by, the idea is that it is art for everybody. Not everybody walks into an art gallery as it is more closed and can be only people who are interested in art go. It’s very much a DIY venture, which people are very responsive to here in Reykjavik.
As a non-commercial gallery, everything operates on an exchange of ideas with the artists exhibiting. Wind and Weather Window Gallery and its publicness allow a curious interplay as one usually finds this type of window full of commercial advertisements or products for sale. When that is replaced by a display whose agenda it is up to the viewer to decide, many things can happen.
Each exhibition runs for two months, quite some time in the space of a year. All of the wider socio-political events taking place in that time frame seem to become part of the public dialogue as the window gallery is part of public life. The everyday holds this presence that is at once everywhere and nowhere. There is also the idea that the everyday can be more confrontational to things in the wider world, especially outside of the art world, and in a way that art institutions cannot address as potently. There is a democracy to the everydayness as it is in the day-to-day where encounters happen that invoke real change.
Do you see that being a non-commercial gallery affects what the artists choose to exhibit?
True art to me comes from the person. What do they want to share with the world and what do they want to express? If that becomes a trend, that’s great, but more importantly is just that the artist expresses what the artist needs to say. What does it mean to them? I think it is becoming more and more a minor point in the discussion. I know artists go to school and become affected by their peers and teachers. But all of the factors leading up to where you make the decisions you make is very important. Where along the line have those decisions come from? Basically it is a question of choice for the person. Of the whole realm of that person what does that decision mean for you? I try to draw that out of the artists exhibiting when we have dialogues.
Since 2013, Wind and Weather Window Gallery has shown a variety of artists, both local and from abroad. In 2013, the gallery featured work by Kathy Clark, Steinunn Harðardóttir, Rebecca Erin Moran, and Claudia Hausfeld. In 2014, Auður Ómarsdóttir, Dóra Hrund Gísladóttir, Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir, Ragnheiður Káradóttir, Guðlaug Mía Eyþórsdóttir, and Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. In 2015, Ólöf Helga Helgadóttir, Myrra Leifsdóttir, Ragnhildur Jóhanns, Serge Comte, Ámundi, and Amy Tavern. In 2016, Haraldur Jónsson, Christopher Hickey, Halldór Ragnarsson, Linn Björklund, Úlfur Karlsson, and Anne Rombach exhibited. The space has experienced performance, video, installation, and many hybrids. From 2015-2016, Kathy also had a space on Laugavegur called Better Weather Window Gallery which featured exhibits by Halla Birgisdóttir, Johannes Tasilo Walter & Rebecca Erin Moran, Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Guðrún Heiður Ísaksdóttir, David Subhi, Sigurður Ámundson, Lukka Sigurðardóttir, Leifur Ýmir Eyjólfsson, Nikulás Stefán Nikulásson, Claudia Hausfeld, Freyja Eilíf Logadóttir, and Snorri Ásmundsson.
Do you feel like a curator in any sense?
We do talk about their ideas and when they come to me. I do have to agree to it because sometimes an artist may have an idea that I don’t think would work in terms of lighting or space. More often than not I am open to their ideas. I’m also here to give advice and support and bounce off ideas and ask questions. I’m interested in finding out what are they trying to say with their work. You have this whole space so I want the artist to consider the whole space. It’s this exchange that has been so potent. It has nothing to do with commercializing. I pay for the sign and I give my time. The only thing I ask for is an art piece in exchange. So it is an exchange of energy from one artist to another.
Although Kathy does not describe herself as a curator of Wind and Weather Window Gallery, her role brought to mind older contexts of the term ‘curator.’ Looking at the etymology of the term ‘curator’ we see it comes from the Latin cura, which means ‘to cure.’ In the middles ages the term was linked to the two curious positions of both the parish priest who was the ‘curate of souls’ and a more bureaucratic keeper of books and public records. In some ways the modern curator is still a curious mix of these two roles, procuring a kind of aesthetic cure for society. In Kathy’s case, the exchange of time and space with local artists does as much for the public.
The Oracle: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir 7. janúar – 20. janúar 2017
The Consultant: Ásta Fanney Sigurðarsdóttir 23. janúar – 28. janúar 2017
The Masseuse: Katrín Inga Jonsdóttir Hjördísardóttir 1. febrúar – 26. febrúar 2017
Below is a detailed schedule with information about appointments and screenings:
The Oracle: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir & Kathy Clark 6. janúar – 20. janúar 2017
Appointments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or windandweather.is/contact/
The Oracle is live and present in the window gallery on the following dates:
January 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and 20th at these times:
18:30pm and 18:50
On Friday, January 20th is the closing performance, a farewell session open to everyone from 17 – 19.
One may make an appointment on these days or special appointments can also be made upon request.
The Consultant: Ásta Fanney Siguðarsdóttir 23. janúar – 28. janúar 2017
The Consultant is live and present in the window gallery as follows:
Appointments begin January 23rd – January 28th at 12:01 pm
One may make an appointment on these days at 12:01 pm
Special appointments can also be made upon request.
On Saturday, January 28th is the closing event open to everyone from 17 – 19.
The Masseuse: Katrín Inga Jonsdóttir Hjördísardóttir 3. febrúar – 26. febrúar 2017
The Masseuse is live and present in the window gallery as follows:
Saturday, February 4th is an opening performance from 17 – 19. All are welcome to attend.
Saturday, February 4th from 17 – 19 with appointments available at the following times:
- 17:15 pm
- 17 :40 pm
- 18:20 pm
- 18:45 pm
February 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th , 25th ; from 16:30 – 19.
Walk-ins are also accepted.
More about Wind and Weather Window Gallery.