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Autumn Bulbs − New Public Art

This September, Reykjavík Art Museum holds a group exhibition outside the museum walls. Five artists present new work in a diverse and original manner around the city and in the public spaces made available through modern technology. This includes performances, interventions and various happenings. Instead of material sculptures, memorials or other permanent environmental artworks, the exhibition Autumn Bulbs focuses on artworks created in more or less intangible media; they spread around the city and flourish in unexpected circumstances.

The five artists ask questions regarding public spaces. They cover diverse topics which are related to current affairs, like constant connection, mindfulness, environmental issues, power, ownership and the boundaries between private and public space. Snorri Ásmundsson invites visitors to a meditation in Egilshöll where the saint, master Hilarion, is embodied in the artist. This moment marks the start of a journey which he will undertake on social media and the internet. Sana Ba Lana is in the spirit of Snorri’s former work which often reach outside traditional art spaces and into the public, political, religious and social fields. His work takes the form of formal events – interventions and performances – where the artist overturns traditional values in the society and undaunted takes on many different roles in the hierarchy. He has for example preached in Hrísey Church, run for president and formed the political movement Left, Right, Turn.

Curver Thoroddsen is known for what he himself calls “real life performances”, where he places everyday life and actions in artistic context. He sometimes brings his own private life to the art institutions or directs attention to himself in daily life. He has for example renovated his apartment, celebrated Christmas live online, gone on a diet and eaten a lot of hamburgers – all in the name of art. His work raises questions about artists’ role in society as well as the nature of art creation and art experience, but it also reflects current affairs, pop culture and Zeitgeist. Curver’s contribution to Autumn Bulbs is a kind of a hyper-real life performance focusing on every-day heroes and the environment.

Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir’s work can be found on the roof of the Customs House in Tryggvagata. It takes note from the building’s history and the man-made area around it, which has been constantly changing since the construction of the building started in 1967. Through the years, many different plans have been made regarding the development of this area but either never been carried out or never fully finished due to new planning trends. In this work, Berglind ponders the future which never happened, people’s expectations for this area and the future which is starting to appear around the building.

Ásgerður Birna Björnsdóttir’s artwork can best be described as an intervention into people’s daily life. This is an audio piece which will be performed at random times in places where the source of the sound is unclear. Behind this lie musings on constant connection and the invisible, yet tangible, systems which increased technology brings. The mobile phone plays an ever-growing role in the lives of most people, it almost has us in its clutches through ringtones and beeps. When it rings, we often put everything on hold to answer it or silence it. Even though it’s only for a moment, we are forced to abandon our thoughts. We have become conditioned or addicted to this regular distraction.

Þóranna Björnsdóttir is inspired by folktales and myths regarding fate at a crossroads. She collects tales where the world of men and the hidden world meet. This is a performance which takes place at a crossroads in the city centre where passers-by are invited to stop and think about a situation where we face a choice. What does it mean to choose and what are we rejecting when we make our decisions?

Some works in the exhibition will only be performed once while others have a longer or more frequent existence. The exhibition programme can be found here in the catalogue or on the museum’s social media and homepage. 2019 is the year of art in public spaces at Reykjavík Art Museum and Autumn Bulbs is a part of that, along with other exhibitions, events and communication’s work.

PROGRAMME − 7-29 September 2019

Snorri Ásmundsson
Sana Ba Lana

Egilshöll, Fossaleynir 1, 112 Reykjavík
Sat. 07.09. 16:00

Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir
Reykjavík Customs House, Tryggvagata 19, 101 Reykjavík
Opening Sun. 15.09. 15:00
Open daily: 15.-29.09.
Mon. - Fri: 10:00-15:30
Thu: 10:00-20:00
Sat. - Sun: 13:00-17:00
Closed: Sat. 20 Sept.

Curver Thoroddsen

Ásgerður Birna Björnsdóttir
Why do Birds Sing?
Breiðholt swimming pool, Austurberg 3, 111 Reykjavík
Fri: 13.09., 20.09. 14:00-22:00
Vesturbær swimming pool, Hofsvallagata 107, 107 Reykjavík
Sat: 14.09., 21.09. 9:00-22:00

Þóranna Björnsdóttir
Indications at Crossroads
Corner of Pósthússtræti and Austurstræti, 101 Reykjavík
Fri. 13.09. 17:00
Sun. 22.09. 14:00
Thu. 26.09. 20:30
Closed Thu. 19.09

Artists speak about their work
Listasafn Reykjavíkur - Hafnarhús, Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavík
fim Thu. 12.09. 20:00

Markús Þór Andrésson

Assistant curator
Sunna Ástþórsdóttir

The exhibition is supported by the Icelandic Visual Arts Fund.
Free entry.


Click on the pictures to view some more on Instagram and post your own by using the #hashtag of the exhibition.
Remember to follow Reykjavík Art Museum on @reykjavikartmuseum.

Events related to exhibition

Curver Thoroddsen
7. September 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00
Snorri Ásmundsson: Sana Ba Lana
7. September 2019 - 16:00
Curver Thoroddsen
8. September 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00
Curver Thoroddsen
9. September 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00
Curver Thoroddsen
10. September 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00
Curver Thoroddsen
11. September 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00