(I)n­dependent People: Colla­borations and Artist Initiatives

(I)ndependent People: Collaborations and Artist Initiatives

(I)ndependent People: Collaborations and Artist Initiatives



(I)ndependent People asks if and how collaboration can operate in negotiation between contesting ideas and desires, and yet allow for unplanned action. This large-scale collaborative takes place at a cluster of museums, galleries, artist-run spaces and institutions in the capital area. Focusing on visual art from the Nordic region, the exhibitions are conceived as an opportunity to establish and instigate a discussion around the relationships between international and Nordic networks from the perspective of collaborative and artist-initiated processes.

Participants at Reykjavik Art Museum – Hafnarhús are:

Anonymous: I do not believe that art should have anything in common with definitive theories that are apart from it.

That is too much like propaganda. – Marcel Duchamp With Knitting House, Elin Strand Ruin + The New Beauty Council work with the Icelandic Academy of Art to develop a project originally produced in a suburb of Stockholm, by also involving Icelandic knitting communities. This project springs from a fascination with the rationality that characterises large-scale social housing areas in post-war Europe, particularly the Nordic countries, but it also derives from an interest in the lives lived behind mass-produced concrete walls.

Knitting House centres on the act of knitting, where every stitch has been touched by a thought, turning private space inside out; bringing ‘oikos’ into the public sphere. This is not a moralising work. It does not take a position; rather, it depicts a heterotopic Palestinian embassy, symbolically housed in a hot air balloon.

In autumn 2009, the balloon flew in Norwegian airspace for a few hours, with local and Palestinian politicians and academics on board, discussing the democratic and diplomatic possibilities of the Palestinian people.

This discussion was transmitted, via radio, to an audience on the ground: a sign of hope for some, a depiction of the Palestinian predicament for others. In Reykjavík, this video will be accompanied by discussions around the relationships between Iceland and Palestine. Institutt for Degeneret Kunst This collective refers to herself in the first person singular, as “the simultaneous collapse of several functionally separate series of associations”. Attempting to operate through a “synthesis of simultaneous processes”, to become one among many, she has stated that she will do whatever is unexpected of her and has kindly agreed to exhibit her tactile practice in the Reykjavík Art Museum.

The Institute’s work might best be described as installations of ready-mades or expanded painting. Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir & Hlynur Hallsson The cumulative and process-based character of exhibiting is evident in the work of Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir & Hlynur Hallsson, in their use of the Reykjavík Art Museum as a public platform. Apart from a new edition of the self-initiated journal, Blatt Blað—inspired by Dieter Roth’s Magazine for Everything—their project involves more than one hundred participating artists, contributing to the journal, producing direct statements, critical talks and an ‘open floor’. Talks and presentations by academics, activists and artists will be recorded and relayed on a growing number of screens in the venue.

The collective running Kling & Bang often directly participates in the process of creating artworks in collaboration with their exhibitors. Within the festival, they serve both as a venue, by offering their premises to A Kassen and 1857, and as an artists’ group, by presenting a video installation, The Demented Diamond of Kling & Bang’s Video Archive, of works by numerous artists associated with the gallery, in the Reykjavík Art Museum.

Every two weeks they invite individual artists to take over the installation with solo exhibitions. Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas + MIT 4.333 Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas are known for a socially interactive and interdisciplinary practice that explores the conflicts and contradictions posed by economic, social and political conditions, primarily in, or in relation to, the former Soviet countries. In Reykjavík, they are collaborating with a group of students from Massachusetts Institute for Technology, MIT 4.333. The student-Urbonas conglomerate engage in a critical reflection on military technology through playful and seemingly innocent art production. Hearsay House is a cross-disciplinary investigation and deconstruction of shared histories of the US and Europe in the ‘neutral grounds’ of Reykjavík, manifest through the imbedded narratives of Höfði.

Steina will perform with Raflost, an Icelandic organisation and festival that also arranges and stages events and workshops dedicated to electronic art. The aim of this collaboration is to further grassroots Icelandic electronic musicians and artists by introducing past and present electronic arts and hopefully generating future projects. Guided by a collective, material-based, somewhat enigmatic and performative research process, the Icelandic Love Corporation has since 1996 managed a process that deals with, among other things, human experiences, our roles in society and questions of gender and identity, art versus nature, personal versus public. Traces of their work can be found in staged photographs and the installation at the Reykjavík Art Museum.

The Leyline Project: Steingrímur Eyfjörð and Ulrika Sparre form an unholy alliance to organise space according to the principles of ley lines, ship settings, and investigate other types of energy, both real and imaginary, and their related sub-cultures. The project includes curators Kristín Dagmar Jóhannesdóttir and Diana Kaur, composer Áki Ásgeirsson, and polytechnic engineer, inventor and musician Guðlaugur K. Óttarsson. The phenomena they research are complex, controversial and debated. As the concentration of energy around the Snæfellsnes peninsula, in west Iceland, is unique, the team will undertake an expedition, visit the ‘singing cave’ Sönghellir, and hopefully bring some energy back to the museum.

Útúrdúr Opposite the traditional museum bookshop in the Reykjavík Art Museum, an artist-initiated equivalent, Útúrdúr, open a temporary branch over the summer of 2012, offering a slightly different array of publications. For further information see www.independentpeople.is. Programme: Saturday 19 May 9-11 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Raflost & Steina Violin Power by video artist Steina performed as a part of Raflost, Icelandic Festival of Electronic Arts. Other performers include the Arduino group and Hestbak, who perform works by S.L.Á.T.U.R. Monday 21 May 3-5 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People The Leyline Project Artists Steingrímur Eyfjörð & Ulrika Sparre host a workshop in relation to their project. Wednesday 23 May 2-4 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Raflost & Steina Artist's talk with Steina and other participants at Raflost. In English. Thursday 24 May 12.15 p.m.

Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by JBK Ransu artist and art critic. Thursday 24 May 5 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Curator’s talk with Jonatan Habib Engqvist and participating artists. In English. Thursday 31 May 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lectures by Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen music critic and Hjálmar Stefán Brynjólfsson lawyer. Thursday 7 June 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by Þóranna Björnsdóttir sound- and visual artist and Þráinn Hjálmarsson composer. Sunday 10 June 3 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Elin Strand Ruin & The New Beauty Council Knitting–workshop held in relation to the exhibition.

Thursday 14 June 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by Hlynur Helgason artist and philosopher. Thursday 19 July 8 p.m. Evening Walking Tour – (I)ndependent People Reykjavik Art Museum in collaboration with the Living Art Museum leads a tour on the history of alternative and artist-run spaces in Reykjavik. Thursday 9 August 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by Tinna Grétarsdóttir archaeologist. Thursday 16 August 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by artist Halldór Úlfarsson and composer Páll Ivan Pálsson. Thursday 23 August 12.15 p.m. Hafnarhús – (I)ndependent People Hlynur Hallsson & Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Lecture by organizers of Endemi publishing, a magazine on Icelandic women in contemporary art..

Images of exhibition