Bout – four bouts of video works

Libiu & Ólafs: Allir eru að gera það sem þeir geta (a still), 2008.

Bout – four bouts of video works



BOUT – play, performance, record and tale
BOUT is an extensive project where a large part of the animated works in the Reykjavík Art Museum collection will be put on show. The title refers to the works being exhibited in four different bouts, each one lasting around four weeks. Each bout has its own theme which is based on the approach and subjects of the artists.

The themes in question are play, performance, documentation and storytelling. 

The first theme is called PLAY. It holds works by artists such as Egill Sæbjörnsson, Erró, Sigrún Harðardóttir, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir and Steina. Their art work is technically characterised for example by an experimental approach to the media and research of the possibilities which technology brings. This bout includes the work Tokyo Four by Steina Vasulka who plays an important part in the development of video art, as an active participant in the international art scene during the birth and formation years of the media, late in the sixties. 

A total of 22 art works will be on show during the exhibition. The next bout, PERFORMANCE, starts on February 9th.

It includes works by Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Ásmundur Ásmundsson, Dodda Maggý, Erling Klingenberg, The Icelandic Love Corporation and Magnús Pálsson. The third bout is RECORD and starts on March 9th. Artists involved are Finnur Arnar Arnarson, Hlynur Hallsson, Hlynur Helgason, Jeanette Castioni, Libia and Ólafur, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir and Ráðhildur Ingadóttir. 

The fourth and last bout is TALE and it starts on April 6th. The works are by Bjargey Ólafsdóttir, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, Sigurður Guðjónsson and Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson. During the exhibition an extensive program will run in Hafnarhús with conversations with the artists and lectures on video art and New Media and its contact points with museum collections and registration. An important part of the exhibition concerns the inner workings of the museum, but during the exhibition there will be work ongoing on an ideological and technical analysis of the works as well as their registration. 

Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Director at Reykjavík Art Museum, claims that modern day art museums face both ideological and practical questions when dealing with the preservation of New Media in a fast developing technical world. Is it for example okay to upgrade an art work into a new format? Is it okay to transfer from VHS to digital, or must the museum also keep old VHS-players and tube televisions? Wherein lies the essence of the art works in the minds of the artists who made them? Is it alright to constantly upgrade art work so it can be exhibited with the best available technology at any given time? It is also interesting to consider how the language, Icelandic, embraces the technology and the manifestation of the art works. We still call it video work although very few art works are made in such a way anymore and the VHS itself is long outdated..

Images of exhibition

Images from opening