Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir | Hosek Contemporary
Hosek Contemporary, Berlin
28 April 2017
The performance will be followed by a concert of Icelandic musician Indriði starting at 21.00.
The event is held during Gallery Weekend Berlin.
Braid, Skip, Hop, Drum is a collective performance inspired by an image from the Lithuanian artist Eglė Rakauskaitė, where young women dressed in black stand sternly in a circle facing outwards. They are not actively touching or holding hands as one could assume, only their plaits are fastened together with small hair elastics.
In Gunnhildur’s interpretation, young women are replaced by people of all age and gender, opening the circle as an inclusive experience. The artist takes the idea of having people woven together by their hair in another direction by having them recite nouns.
In this piece the viewer is invited to have an active role; during the performance, volunteers with long hair are encouraged to step out of the audience. Gunnhildur will then begin braiding their hair together, slowly creating a full circle. Each person represents a link in the circle, a small but essential part. While the braiding takes place, three artists are adding their own element to the performance. Steinunn Gunnlausdóttir brings the “hop”, jumping up and down on a trampoline, Katrín Inga Jónsdottir the “skip”, ferociously skipping a rope and drummer Snorri Páll brings the “drum”. While Gunnhildur intertwines the volunteers’ hair, she whispers something to each of them individually, which they repeat out loud generating a chorus of repetition.
The volunteers in the circle never face each other, which could imply that they are not really connected, however, the chorus brings them unity. Simultaneously, being linked to one another by something as fragile as human hair is intimate and subtle, yet powerful. Facing away from the circle and gazing to the outside world, the participants adopt an almost defiant, warrior-like pose.
Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir is an Icelandic visual artist who explores themes such as cultural identity, nature, valour and fear. In her pieces, she creates transient conceptual assemblies by combining elements of audio, video, performance, sculpture, drawing and text. She divides her time between Reykjavik and Berlin.
Text © Linda Toivio
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