Disruption – Ásmundur Sveinsson and Elín Hansdóttir
It often falls to artists to challenge old and stagnant attitudes. Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) spoke of trying to make people “aware that they are not just mindless beasts.” According to Elín Hansdóttir (b. 1980), art should “cut the ground from beneath your feet and make you re-evaluate your rigid ideas.” In Disruption, Elín takes on Ásmundur´s artworks, searching for new viewpoints. Elín and Ásmundur work with perspective in different ways, he uses his material to capture the form, while she redefines the space. The contrast between Elín´s recent work and Ásmundur´s heritage opens up a new world for the viewer. Their generations are wildly incompatible which creates interesting tension, although they also have some powerful attributes in common.
Elín Hansdóttir lives and works in Reykjavik and Berlin. She studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin completing her MA in 2006.
Solo exhibitions include Suspension of Disbelief at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); Trace at i8 Gallery (2010); Parallax at the Reykjavik Art Museum (2009 and Universolo at Unosolo project space, Rome (2009)
Group shows include Beyond Reach at Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen (2014); Higher Atlas, Marrakech Biennale, Morocco (2012); Space Revised, Künstlerhaus Bremen (2009) and Art Against Architecture at the National Gallery of Iceland (2008). In 2007 she was commissioned for Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London.
In her works, Elín Hansdóttir places emphasis on the experience that the viewer will have of them. They are in this sense quite open, engaging, constructed situations where an individual may encounter a perceptional challenge. It is quite possible that her works offer nothing on display, merely a gesture that triggers the attention.
Many of Hansdóttir´s works play with architectural space and illusion. A recurrent theme, based on some variation of a passageway confronts the viewer with peculiarities of space, sound, and light that have indistinct parallels in reality. What is unquestionably real, however, is the agitated attentiveness of the viewer, who may start to mistrust his or her own senses, resulting in lightheadedness, claustrophobia, or disruption of temporality.
The Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum is dedicated to the works of the sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson. Sveinsson was one of the pioneers of Icelandic sculpture and was first and foremost inspired by Icelandic nature and literature, as well as by the people itself. His massive, powerful and sometimes provocative works are akin to the wondrous formations that can be seen in Icelandic nature. But although the visual material Sveinsson used was first and foremost national in origin, he nonetheless adopted the main currents in creative international art as if nothing was closer to his heart, at the same time lending them an Icelandic character - an Icelandic content.
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