Borrowed time | Scandinavia House, NYC.
BORROWED TIME: ICELANDIC ARTISTS LOOK FORWARD
Saturday October 15th 2016 — Saturday January 14th 2017
Scandinavia House 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Borrowed Time: Icelandic Artists Look Forward presents the work of contemporary Icelandic artists currently engaged in the global dialogue on sustainability and the issues—environmental, economic, cultural, and social—that surround it. Featuring photography, video, collage, and installation, the exhibition invites viewers to challenge their assumptions and explore new modes of seeing.
Borrowed Time includes work by Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Bjarki Bragason, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, The Icelandic Love Corporation, Rósa Gísladóttir, Ásthildur B. Jónsdóttir, Anna Líndal, Ólöf Nordal, Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, and Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir & Mark Wilson, among others.
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Hildur Bjarnadóttir (b.1969) graduated with an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York in 1997. Hildur’s work playfully tests the conceptual and material parameters of “textile art”. As art historian Eva Heisler writes, “Hildur’s process is often labor intensive, and the work that results raises questions about the multiple and often contradictory meanings of ‘work’—in particular the understanding of ‘work’ as labor versus the use of the term to refer to art… For example, Hildur unravelled two yards of painter’s canvas and then rewove the string into a wall hanging. The result is Reconstructed Canvas II: an expanse of unmarked linen surrounded by crocheted squares.” www.hildur.net
Bjarki Bragason (b. 1983) studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Universität der Künste Berlin, and received an MFA from CalArts, Los Angeles in 2010. In his work he often discusses history, time, collecting, identity construction and the proliferation of political histories through fragments and ruins of buildings or natural structures. Recently he has been involved as an artist researcher in projects relating to archaeology, and taken part in research expeditions to the Greenland ice cap. Bjarki is interested in sites which hold evidence of collisions of the human- and geological time scales, issues of the anthropocene and how political and biological shifts occur. email@example.com
Libia Castro (b. 1970, Spain) and Ólafur Ólafsson (b. 1973) live in Rotterdam and Berlin and have collaborated and exhibited internationally since 1996. The work of this artist duo is always on the move. Sometimes taking elements from earlier projects with them to their next destination, they once again enter into a relationship with their current surroundings. By means of portraying, mapping, intervening and informally collaborating with people they meet, they explore space, the environment and its dynamics in different possible and impossible ways. Their projects have an open-ended structure and often result in playful, poetic, subversive and critical works. www.libia-olafur.com
The Icelandic Love Corporation is a group of three artists: Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir (b. 1973), Jóní Jónsdóttir (b. 1972) and Eirún Sigurðardóttir (b. 1971). They have worked together since graduating from the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts in 1996. Using nearly all possible media—including performance, video, photography, and installation—the ILC confronts the seriousness of the art world with works that blend playfulness, humor and spectacle with refreshing genuineness and subtle social critique. Their art and performance often incorporates ideas of traditional femininity, but they are always women on their own terms. The members of the ILC have lived and studied in New York, Berlin, Copenhagen, and are currently based in Reykjavík. www.ilc.is
Anna Líndal’s (b. 1957) art addresses the struggle between repression and vitality, critique and creativity, objective documentation and unforeseeable metamorphosis. Working primarily in video installation and mixed media, she gives an initial impression of being pointedly critical, but upon closer inspection her work proves to be a subtle exploration of form and idea. Recent works integrate video—projected or presented on televisions or computer monitors—with tightly wound balls and cables of yarn or thread, her installations always responding to their architectural environments. Anna Líndal studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London and has been a professor at the Iceland Academy of the Arts since 2000. www.annalindal.com
Ólöf Nordal (b. 1961) lives and works in Reykjavík. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and received an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan as well as an MFA in sculpture from Yale University. In 2005, she received the prestigious Richard Serra Award. The politics of presentation of animal specimens as well as the fascination with the monstrous are at play in Ólöf’s photographs and sculptures. Her work continues to explore the folkloric traditions surrounding Icelandic nature as well as those scientific practices that, in their seeking to preserve and display nature, also fictionalize it. www.olofnordal.com
Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir (b. 1985) graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2009 and received Masters of Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art in 2013. In her works Þorgerður considers ideas and definitions of identity, places and the field of systems we use to understand the natural world and how these might be interpreted in more subjective areas through memory and literature. In recent works she has been looking at modern artefacts and how fragmented narratives can be constructed from collected history and objects. Þorgerður has exhibited her work in Iceland, Scandinavia and the UK as well as heading exhibitions and artists´ publications. Since 2014 she has been the director of the Living Art Museum in Reykjavík and serves on the artistic board of Sequences Real Time Art Festival. https://thorgerdur.net/
Hrafnkell Sigurdsson (b. 1963) studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts, the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and Goldsmith College, London. Through performance, video, installation, and photography, Hrafnkell’s art examines transitory elements of man’s relationship with nature and plays with ideas of reversal and ritual, corporeal masculinity and transcendence of the body. His photographic series include images of empty tents in the snow, houses under construction, and most recently, mirror images of trash whose front panels open to reveal quiet snowy panoramas. Hrafnkell has exhibited worldwide, from Europe to East Asia, Tasmania to the Louvre, and he was granted the Icelandic Visual Art Award in 2007. www.hrafnkellsigurdsson.com
Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir & Mark Wilson conduct their collaborative practice from bases in the north of England, Iceland and Gothenburg, Sweden. With a strong research grounding, their socially engaged projects explore contemporary relationships between human and non-human animals in the contexts of history, culture and the environment. The practice sets out to challenge anthropocentric systems and thinking that sanction loss through representation of the other, proposing instead, alternative tropes of ‘parities in meeting’. The work is installation based, using objects, text, photography and video. http://www.snaebjornsdottirwilson.com