Bjarni H. Þórarinsson | Safn Berlin
18 March – 30 July 2016
“You do not have to be literate to enjoy my pictures. One Visio-Rose is like nuclear fusion; writing, linguistics, imagery and sound, some with a clear meaning and others with less clear meaning. This is like a small glossary, and I play with language”, says artist BJARNI H. THORARINSSON (b. 1947) in an interview from 1997, a decade after he began creating a personal philosophical universe, which has occupied him since. His original intention was to come to a better understanding of forms and their composition. He soon began to explore form by using sound, language and concepts as constituents for building a panoptic system. The oldest products of this discipline are his Visio-Rose (Rose of Wisdom) drawings, hundreds of mandalas, reminiscent of ancient magic symbols. In his drawings, he plays with the rhyming of self-invented words and with the ways language can be portrayed visually. He develops and identifies keys to linguistic forms by using a taxonomic system for his new words, resulting in new texts comprising strong rhythmic components, aligned to phonetic poetry. Thorarinsson has systematized his research, as a whole system of thought; Visiology. This field of research forms the beginning of an academic discipline collected in the Visio-Academy. As dean of the Visio-Academy, with his findings performatively mediated through his Visio-Congresses, he refers to himself as a Visio-Congressman.
The faculties of the Visio-Academy are: Visio-Mannerism, Bend-Philosophy, Visio-Manuscriptology, Visio-Literature, Visio-Linguistics, Visio-Explanatory Studies, Visio-Formalizing Studies, Visio-Patternology, Visio-Symbolism, Visual Constructive Poetry-Donnets and Visio-Biology.
In a recent interview, thirty years after he received access to his Bend-Visio Da-Visio secret code, Thorarinsson states; “My Visio-Academy has become a volcano and will erupt at any moment.”
Bjarni H. Thorarinsson studied Fine Arts at the Icelandic School of Arts & Crafts (1973-77) and at Jan van Eyck Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht, Netherlands (1974-75). He has since then been occupied with many art forms, such as drawing, performance and ojperas. His works have been presented at all major art museums in Iceland, and widely in Europe.
In a separate room, Safn Berlin presents “Welttheater” (theatre of the world, 1979), a single work by German Conceptual artist HANNE DARBOVEN (1941-2009). On 366 plates, Darboven systematically portrayed little objects and figurines, each of them placed on their own individual theatre stage.
The exhibition is curated by Birta Gudjonsdottir and Katharina Wendler.