A one day outdoor sculpture exhibition, Avant Garden 2, took place in a desolate area in downtown Reykjavík on November 24th. It was organized by recently graduated artists, most of them from the Iceland Academy of the Arts’ classes of the last three years or so.
As always I’m excited about any kind of new venue in Reykjavík city and Avant Garden is no exception. This one stands out in one way though – they have mastered the tricky task of naming the bastard. Avant Garden is a fabulous name for an outside sculpture exhibition of young artists, especially fitting for Avant Garden 1, that was held last summer in one of the artists’ garden in a slow residential neighborhood. I celebrate this exhibition and I really hope we will see Avant Garden 3 and more and that it will continue to grow, improve and live up to the name of avant-garde.
The accompanying pictures are low-quality cellphone photos. I highly recommend checking out Ragnhildur Jóhannsdóttir’s superb photos from the show for Endemi, available on this link:
Guests arriving in the pouring rain at the Avant Garden 2 were greeted by this sign:
A proper sculpture exhibition must have a neon work and this one by Solveig Thoroddsen fulfilled the role excellently. This is the first time I’ve seen her characteristic drawings in this medium and it suits them well.
Solveig is one of the organizers of Avant Garden 2 and the host of Avant Garden 1, held in her back yard last summer.
A stuffed mouse trapped in a well crafted wooden box, by Ragnheiður Káradóttir, apparently ready to be transported. A few steps away homemade mousetraps were positioned in bushes and by rocks.
Definitely a highlight. Lilý Erla Adamsdóttir performed standing in a tiny tub filled with water in the cold rain. Tubes went from the tub up to her mouth, through which she sucked up the water to spray it with full force above her head. Cold shivers didn’t interrupt the powerful presence – The Birth of Venus, Bruce Nauman’s Fountain and raw bursting energy in an intense and remarkably unpretentious cocktail.
A rocking horse sculpture by Hulda Vilhjálmsdóttir.
Baldur Björnsson preached to us from a television wrapped in cardboard, camouflaged as a fire place, also used as props in the video. Unfortunately the sound was very poor so I couldn’t really hear what he was going on about, but it looked convincing.
In foreground are sculptures by another of the Avant Garden’s organizers, Ingibjörg Edda Jónsdóttir. The bad quality photo I took isn’t really doing it justice, but you get the idea. ( Again, I do recommend checking out better pictures from the exhibition here: http://endemi.is/2012/12/06/fra-avant-gardi-2/ )
In background Sigrún Guðmundsdóttir performs in black, which she has consistently done in different variations for the past few years and it’s somehow starting to sink in.
Animals in pretty pastels are popular these days. This one by Þorvaldur Jónsson has crystal eyes and was displayed in a box with painted wooden sticks.
Here is another cute animal, but this one has an attitude and stayed inside the tent playing a lo-fi psychedelic video game while the others suffered the rain. By Steinunn Harðardóttir.
Installation by Hertha María Richardt. The writing on the chair says “I’m innocent”.
Ragnhildur Jóhannsdóttir has worked a lot with words, cut out from books, as poetry, sculptures and collages. This time the words were in the arms of a small household porcelain statue, covered in some kind of wax.
Breathtaking. This relief/sculpture/I-don’t-care-what-it-is,-it’s-great by Margrét Helga Sesseljudóttir really owned the show. Just the photograph is staggering but then it opens up another dimension with the attached objects. Such a beautiful piece to be exhibited outside, mounted on the soft plastic tent.