Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson in Prague
Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson – The Suicide-vest as Life-vest?
Vernon Talk with the artist will be held in Gallery Vernon, U Průhonu 22 on February 20.
The atypical exhibition area Vernon Projekt in Letná, Prague, presents a site-specific installation of Icelandic artist Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson (1982), that is also his graduation project of the studies in the sculpture studio of Kurt Gebauer at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague.
The installation called “The Seduction of Sacrifice” examines a morbidly perverted relationship between a revolution and its followers. In fact, Jonsson himself often revolts through his art. He reacts on burdensome social-political topics, confronts positions of power and powerlessness, guilt and innocence, choice and its impossibility. He is not afraid to go to the edge of provocation as was proved in Toronto, 2007, when he had been charged for a bomb hoax after placing his object of art in front of the Royal Ontario Museum. The object resembled a bomb. In his other projects he used for instance a guillotine, prison-like bars, or fire. In Vernon Projekt he uses a go-to weapon of choice for modern revolutionary movements: the suicide vest.
As Jonsson points out: “The title of the installation is a wordplay on Raoul Vaneigem’s book from 1967 “The Revolution of Everyday Life: Impossible Realisation or Power as the Sum of Seductions” and its 12th chapter called “Sacrifice”. The inability of the revolution to recognize its own role in a moral, psychological and physical destruction of its followers is criticized through subversion of its slogans and the overly sentimental and aestheticized presentation of the self-sacrifice.” At the center of the installation rests an ultimate refinement of this principle of self-sacrifice which is at the same time a frequent choice for current revolutionary movements: the suicide vest.
Icelandic artist Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson (1982) was born in Reykjavik and he has studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Icelandic Art Academy. His often controversial and provocative works were displayed at both solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Iceland and Czech Republic. Jonsson strives to express similar message in a variety of techniques and media – from painting and sculpture, through objects to installations and performances. Reactions to current social-political issues that involve some kind of revolt are the fundamental elements of Jonsson’s art.Vernon Projekt is an unorthodox exhibition space for young artists and is located in the display window of a former shop on the corner of Janovského and Heřmanova streets in the Letná district of Prague. The unorthodox nature of this exhibition space allows passers-by to look inside the gallery all day. Vernon Projekt hosts between six and eight exhibitions by Czech and international artists through the year.