In September, 2019, I opened an exhibition at The Herhús and The Herring Era Museum/Síldarminjasafnið in Siglufjörður in northern Iceland. Titled how to notice what cannot be seen/að sjá það sem hulið er, the exhibition explores the incremental changes that galvanize radical shifts in our social and natural worlds and contends with the question of how change might be both witnessed and attended to. Change is elemental to the Fjallabyggð region of northern Iceland, where climate and geography shape the possibilities for domestic habitation and connectivity. Change is a pressurized activity that is activated through culture and politics. Change is also a measure of adaptability – a reach towards sustaining oneself and others in community; change is a story of endings and beginnings – it is the chance encounter, the inconstant moment.
The artists in this exhibition, whose practices are situated in northern Iceland and beyond, respond to the question of how to notice what cannot be seen. Their work asks us to contemplate how incremental change might be both perceived and mourned through aesthetic ways of knowing.
Haraldur Ingi Haraldsson (Akureyri) studied history at the University of Iceland and art at the Reykjavík School of Arts and Crafts. He extended his art training at the AKI Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst and the Vrie Akademie Psycopolis in the Netherlands. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Iceland and has worked on the promotion of art in Iceland in diverse ways.
Cod Head. Acrylic on graphic film. 2015 -2017.
Guðrún Þórisdóttir (Ólafsfjörður) graduated from Akureyri School of Visual Arts in 1994. Her work has been shown in several solo and group exhibitions over the years. She is a major dreamer and a boundless nature addict.
Skuggasveinar/Shadowboys. Sheep horn and wool. 2017-2019.
Björn Valdimarsson (Siglufjörður) is a self-taught photographer. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in Iceland and Switzerland, and his photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Iceland, England, Germany and the United States. He has also published two photobooks: one that documents the Fólkið á Sigló and another that depicts ageing houses and other man-made things in the landscape in Northern Iceland.
Disappearance. Ink jet prints. 2014-2018.
Born in Reykjavík in 1979, Bergþór Morthens (Siglufjörður/Gothenburg) completed his visual arts training in both Iceland and Sweden, where he received his MFA (2015) from the Valand Academy. He has exhibited extensively in Iceland and Europe, including a recent group show in Denmark and a solo exhibition in Romania. In addition to his artistic practice, Bergþór teaches visual art at MTR in Fjallabyggð.
Flekinn. Acrylic and oil on plastic. 2018.
J Pasila (Siglufjörður/Brooklyn) has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, J continued her studies in the departments of video and architecture at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. J has received grants and awards including the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, the Mustarinda Association in Finland, and twice been a resident at the MacDowell Colony, NH.
Archive. Photograms. 2017 and Remote. Archival digital prints and video. 2017 – 2019.
Besides taking walks and photographing the landscape for Pedestrian Conflict, I've also had time to meet some of the folks in town and learn more about the fishing industry here. Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down and talk with with Ásgeir...
“With whose blood were my eyes crafted?” (Donna Haraway, 1998) It’s my fourth day at the Listhus Artists Residency in Ólafsfjörður and now that I’ve had a chance to get my bearings, a few thoughts are taking shape around my project here. An experiment in...