Artists Talk: Iðavöllur
Artists talk with Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir and Bjarki Bragason 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.
Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir (b. 1973) received her MA Fine Art at Manchester School of Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University in 2004 and her BA Fine Art at London Guildhall University in 1998. Prior to that she studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts between 1993-95. In 2018, Anna Júlía was nominated for the Icelandic Art Prize, for her solo exhibition Serenade at Hafnarborg.
Bjarki Bragason (b. 1983) studied fine art at Iceland Academy of the Arts, Universität der Künste in Berlin and completed an MFA at California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles in 2010. Bjarki has exhibited, curated and taken part in artistic research projects in collaboration with artists, architects, archeaologists and earth scientists, including Past Understanding, Vienna Museum of Art History, Desire Ruin, Vienna Museum of Natural History. He is Associate Professor and Program Director in the Fine Arts department at Iceland University of the Arts.