Artist Talk: Elín Hansdóttir and Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir
Artists talk with Elín Hansdóttir and Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir who have works in the exhibition Iðavöllur: Icelandic art in the 21st Century. In Icelandic.
Registration is required HERE.
In 2021, Reykjavík Art Museum focuses on the microenvironment, with an aim of displaying the growth of the Icelandic art scene. The whole Hafnarhús becomes the setting for a powerful exhibition of new works by young artists who may be considered to be in the lead for their generation, and assumptions can also be made about the larger context of Icelandic and international contemporary art. It’s been a while since we checked in with what’s brewing among the fastest growing and most prominent artists and reflects subjects and approaches of the present.
The title of the exhibition is Iðavöllur. It is borrowed from Völuspá and occurs twice in the poem. Iðavöllur is the place where the gods meet when the world is constructed and then reassemble at following Ragnarök to build a new world. Hafnarhús takes on the role of such a meeting place, as a location for creative artists in the maelstrom of change at the start of the new millennium. The theme of the exhibition is the creative and transformative power contained in the work of artists and it reflects diverse subjects at a time of technological and social transformation.
The artists are selected based on how they react to the present and how their perspective influences the perspective of the viewer. These artists have shaped the Icelandic art scene at the start of the new century. People of this generation have a unique position because of the junction they stand at: They fall between the X and Y generations, at the birth of the millennium generation. The artists remember a world without internet and smartphones, they experienced the economic collapse and the MeToo revolution, they sense the boundary between geochronological age and the Anthropocene and are faced with a climate catastrophe. They participate in building an art scene which is undergoing a professionalisation with the arrival of art academies, international galleries and art history publications. They represent a generation who deals with increased speed, more flow of information, blurry borders, fluctuating gender, changes in communications, new technology – all while still remembering the way it used to be. In a sense, they are experiencing the end of the world and contributing to a new beginning.
Elín Hansdóttir (b. 1980) studied at Iceland Academy of the Arts, 1999-2003 and KHB-Weissensee in Berlin, where she received her MA in 2006. Solo exhibitions include Elsewhere in Ásmundarsalur (2020) and Simulacra in i8 Gallery (2016). Group shows include Glass and Concrete in Marta Herford (2020) and Latent Shadow in Harbinger (2020). In 2007 Elín was selected for Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London. She was the recipient of the Motivational Award and the Guðmunda S. Kristinsdóttur Art Fund in 2017.
Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir (b. 1980) graduated from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2003. Her works have been shown at Reykjavík Art Museum, Kling & Bang, The Living Art Museum, i8 Gallery and Annaellegallery, Stockholm. In 2019 ASÍ Art Museum held Universal Sugar, for which she was nominated for the Icelandic Art Prize. Hildigunnur was a board member of The Living Art Museum and has served as director of Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art. She is a founding member of the artist-led space Open.
New entrance to Hafnarhús! Enter through the backdoor – from Naustin (between Hafnarhús and Tollhús).