Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir | Keep Frozen part three in Leipzig
Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir
Keep Frozen part three @ Kunstkraftwerk, Leipzig
23 January – 21 February 2016 | Thurs – Sun, 1 -6pm
3 HD channel synchronised video ( 3 (7×4) m portrait format) and mixed-media installation
For her solo show at Kunstkraftwerk, Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir presents the third part of her exhibition series Keep Frozen. The first was a mixed installation event presented at DE-CONSTRUKT [projekts], New York City (2013); the second presented a different compilation at Thoka gallery during Reykjavik Art Festival (2014). The third part presents the artist’s project in Germany for the first time.
KEEP FROZEN part three opened with a 48 hour performance by a team of Reykjavik dock workers and a film crew. At KKW they worked the same hours with the same breaks as they do at the harbour in Reykjavik where they typically are required, within a tight 48 hour period, to unload up to 25.000 boxes of frozen fish from freezer factory trawlers (each weighing 25 kg) whilst working in a -35° C freezer cargo hold. The boxes are much heavier than those allowed inside the EU and as is the case in the harbour they are paid according to how fast they work. Security rules are waived as they keep spinning with a precise level of skill and experience that few outside the dock are able to achieve. In an endless cycle of repetitive movements they re-stacked boxes as fast as possible from one pile to the next in a ritualistic dance within the 500m2 post-industrial exhibition space. The performance was filmed on high quality format and the then projected on 3 screens, each 7 meters high and 4 meters wide, together with the roughed out boxes and straps left from the exhibition. The video is both dramatic and humorous abstracting the movements and moods of the workers in image and sound.
The dock workers are subjects of the artists documentary project at the Reykjavik harbour and by placing them in context of the exhibition space as performative actors the subjects have been taken out of context and re-staged in a space that ironically used to belong to workers until the wall came down (energy station build in the 19th century). The performance and the installation not only poses questions about the space where it takes place but also wider artistic questions. What is (re)presentation? What is (re)staging? What is re-en(act)ment? What is (re)production? – in relation to reality/space/cinema?
The exhibition is sponsored by Icelandic Visual Arts Fund and as part of Keep Frozen Projects (www.keepfrozenprojects.org) sponsored by Nordic Culture Fund and Nordic Culture Point.
Keep Frozen is the title of a long-term art-practice-as-research project conducted by Guðnadóttir. The research project is featured in the book publication Keep Frozen – Art Practice as Research. The Artist´s View (2015), 93 pages, 4 dust-jackets, 196 photographs. Editor Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir. Contributions by Snaebjornsdottir/Wilson, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Berit Schuck, Sigridur Melros Olafsdottir and Valur Antonsson. Published by DE-CONSTRUKT, New York. Funded by Nordic Culture Point and Icelandic Visual Arts Fund. Design Anja Lutz (Green box). And also by a 73 min documentary film Keep Frozen (2016). Distributed by Deckert Distributions.
Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir (b. 1973, Iceland) is a contemporary visual artist and a filmmaker based in Berlin. She has a B.A. In social anthropology and visual art and M.A. In interactive design. Her solo exhibitions include Reykjavik Art Museum (2012) and PROGRAM, Berlin (2010). She has exhibited and screened in numerous international exhibitions and has won many awards.