Gerðarsafn - Kópavogur Art Museum
13 August - 11 October 2015
Curator - Nadim Samman
THE ICELANDIC LOVE CORPORATION - EINAR TORFI EINARSSON - ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON - INGIBJÖRG FRIDRIKSDÓTTIR - TYLER FRIEDMAN & ANDREAS GREINER - SIGURDUR GUDJÓNSSON & THRÁINN HJÁLMARSSON - HULDA RÓS GUDNADÓTTIR - LOGI LEÓ GUNNARSSON - Christina kubisch - KATRINA MOGENSEN - Boris Ondreicka - JEREMY SHAW - SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON - BERGRÚN SNÆBJÖRNSDÓTTIR - CHARLES STANKIEVECH - Curver Thoroddsen - Berglind María Tómasdóttir
Where does music come from, and how is it released? Is music an exception to the rule (of silence) or the greatest law of all? Are we composers or, perhaps, just instruments? NEW RELEASE brings together Icelandic and international artists whose work is in tune with these questions.
The dawn of the heliocentric vision, ushering in the age of reason and science, cast one of the most important elements of the classical musical imaginary into shadow: the Pythagorean notion of the harmony of the spheres. Instead of a grand celestial chord, encompassing all entities—living and inanimate—and sustaining them, the cosmos became dead quiet. Within this infinite void the earth was a little corner of whispers, hemmed in by mute walls of nothing. Thus, for the romantic sentiment music would amount to ‘pictures painted on silence’. It would take one Western artist’s engagement with Zen to push back against the spectre of universal acoustic void, offering a new musical cosmology—beginning with the axiom of four minutes and thirty three seconds of unplayed piano. Transcending polemic, this redefinition of the musical cosmos quickly converged with our increased mastery of technology and powers of observation—including space exploration. Since then, visionaries have embraced an expanded field of musical competence. Today, we may record the radio emissions of planets and compose with the electrical frequencies of plants. As such, a contemporary composer might be considered a (self-playing?) instrument in a conditional celestial tune. On one occasion she may be in harmony with a manifestly ‘musical instrument’, like a guitar, as the score takes shape. In another, in correspondance with water or perhaps radiation. What is the site of musical release? Molecules? Binary code? Symbol? Intention? Carbon? Perhaps all at once. Contemporary music is radically distributed, in both inner and outer space. And with this observation, once again, dawn breaks over the domain of truly universal music. NEW RELEASE samples the first notes and phrases of this day.
But, in addition, this exhibition includes a counter melody: Can we really think of ourselves as just a series of outputs—heartbeats registered as electrocardiograms, or likes? Even if we are only a small patch of ground in the realm of universal music, doesn’t this music have the capacity to make us figures—for a moment? And, in this moment, what is released from us—as us? Where are the boundaries between the instrument and the experience?—between human and not human identity as we move through universal music and all its simulacra. NEW RELEASE riffs upon these questions.
in Gerðarsafn - kópavogur art museum
The Icelandic Love Corporation (IS) is a group of three artists: Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir, Jóní Jónsdóttir and Eirún Sigurdardóttir. They graduated from the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in 1996. Since then they have lived and studied in New York, Berlin and Copenhagen and are currently based in Reykjavik. Their work has been exhibited at institutions including Kunst-Werke, Germany; the Icelandic National Museum, Iceland; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; the National Gallery, Poland; Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland; and the Amos Anderson Art Museum, Finland, amongst others.
Einar Torfi Einarsson (IS) studied composition in Reykjavík, Amsterdam, Graz, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Huddersfield where he studied on the Jonathan Harvey scholarship and was supervised by Aaron Cassidy. He has also studied in masterclass and private setting with Salvatore Sciarrino, Brian Ferneyhough and Peter Ablinger. Einar has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, among them the Impuls composition competition. His music has been performed widely on many music festivals by such renowned ensemble as Klangforum Wien, ELISION Ensemble and Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Ólafur ElÍasson’s (DK/IS) art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Eliasson strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large. Art, for him, is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world. Olafur Eliasson’s diverse works – in sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installations – have been exhibited widely throughout the world. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery, his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects and interventions in civic space. Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik
Andreas Greiner (DE) has exhibited at institutions including Kunstverein Arnsberg, Transmediale, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) and the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. Further exhibitions with the collective Das Numen (Julian Charrière, Markus Hoffmann, Andreas Greiner and Felix Kiessling) have taken place at Schinkel Pavillon, Haus am Luetzowplatz, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Deutsches Architekturzentrum (DAZ).
Tyler Friedman (US) is a sound artist, composer and producer. His approach utilizes a blend of music theory, synthesis, sound design, analog/digital studio techniques and conceptual imagination. In addition to his own projects, he has been responsible for the sound and composition of multiple films and videos, most notably since 2010 with Turner Prize nominees The Otolith Group, whose films have been commissioned by Documenta 13 and Haus der Kunst in Munich.
Sigurdur Gudjonsson’s (IS) practice ranges from single and multi-channel video works, sound and installations, where image, sound and space form a seamless whole. These become settings for movement and sound that have laws of their own and generate a compelling atmosphere. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, Royal Society of British Sculptors, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany, Arario Museum, Seoul, Liverpool Biennial, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Bergen Kunsthall Norway.
Thráinn Hjálmarsson (IS) studied composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag from and is a current member of the composer's collective S.L.Á.T.U.R. His music has been performed by performers and ensembles worldwide on various occasion, by groups such as BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Uusinta ensemble, Athelas sinfonietta, Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Klang Ensemble, Ensemble Adapter and Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. Thráinn runs the concert series Hljódön (e. Phonemes) dedicated to new music at Hafnarborg art center and developes the musical instrument Thránófónn (e. Thranophone), a feedback instrument based on acoustic resonance in various (complex/simple) cavities.
Logi Leó Gunnarsson (IS) graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in the spring of 2014. Recent exhibitions include Væntanlegt at Núllið - The Living Art Museum project space, So so so at the Culture House in Reykjavík, and Passion, Purpose and a Handshake - Unity at www.artclickdaily.info. His works have been published in the Listvísi magazine and the book Difficulty of Freedom/Freedom of Difficulty, as well as recently contributing to the print collection Thirteen prints published by Týsgallerí and the Iceland Academy of the Arts.
Katrína Mogensen (IS) is an artist and musician. As part of the Icelandic rock group Mammut, Mogensen has released two studio albums. In March 2014 the group received the Icelandic Music Awards for Best album, Best song and Best album cover for their Komdu til mín svarta systir. Mogensen studied at the Iceland Academy of Art and is also active as a fine artist, working predominantly with performance art and video.
Jeremy Shaw (CA) works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that attempt to map transcendental experience. Often combining strategies from the realms of conceptual art, documentary film, music video, and scientific research, Shaw’s work has addressed topics ranging from psychedelic drugs, brain imaging and hypnosis, to snake-handling, straight- edge hardcore and time travel. Shaw has had solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, US, Schinkel Pavillon, DE, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Work by Shaw is held in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson (IS) studied Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands, and Fine Arts at the Fachhochschule Hannover Bildende Kunst, Germany. Sigmarsson exhibits his paintings & drawings internationally and is well known for his energetic performances. Solo exhibitions include Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Ghent; Lindenau, Leipzig; Castle Insterburg, Tchernyakhovsk; Museums Quartier, Vienna; Kunstschlager, Reykjavík; Der Grieche, Berlin; the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík and more.
Charles Stankievech (CA) creates fieldworks, books, films, soundworks, and sculptures. He blends science with science fiction, research with performative spectacle, and architecture with armament. He has exhibited in venues including Palais de Tokyo, Paris; International Symposium on Electronic Arts; dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel; Xth Biennale of Architecture, Venice; NGBK + HKW, Berlin; ISSUE Project Room, New York; Musee d’art Contemporain, Montreal; and the Canadian Centre for Architecture and more.
Curver Thoroddsen (IS). Thoroddsen’s work explores ideas of identity, popular culture and society with a playful twist, giving the everyday a new meaning by transforming it to the realm of art and media. Thoroddsen has exhibited internationally and one part of the experimental band Ghostigital. Ghostigital has performed worldwide with releases on Ipecac Recordings, Honest Jon’s and Bad Taste Ltd. Collaborators include Björk, David Byrne, Mark E. Smith, Alan Vega, Dälek and Sensational. Thoroddsen is a 2009 recipient of the Svavar Gudnason and Ásta Eiríksdóttir Memorial Award.
Boris Ondreička born 1969 is an artist, curator, author and singer based in Bratislava. He has been working as project coordinator at Soros centre for contemporary arts, Bratislava, director of art-initiative tranzit.sk, Bratislava, and since 2012 curator at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, AT. He has curated and co - curated, among others, Rare Earth (with Nadim Samman), Supper Club (with Nadim Samman), Ephemeropteræ (since 2012 with Daniela Zyman), Tomorrow Morning Line (with Franz Pomassl) all at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary as well as Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, Being The Future, Palast der Republik, Berlin. In 2010 he co-founded the Julius Koller Society. His artistic projects have been exhibited among other places at Manifesta 2, Luxembourg, Venice (Czechoslovak & Roma pavilions), Prague, Gyumri, Torino, Anzengruber, Tai-Pei, Athens, Jakarta and the most recently Kyiv biennales. His HI! lo. was published at jrp Ringier, and One Second / Out of Time at Revolver. Since 1987 he is a lead-singer and lyrics writer of the lo-fi band Kosa z nosa, Bratislava.
Another term for experimental is underground. Underground is beneath the surface and not visible to the human eye just like the earth quakes that took place in 2014, three days before the Bárðarbunga eruption. The earth quakes are phoneticised on an old upright piano which has been taken apart in order to create a new instrument to experience the underground movement in a novel way.
Ingibjörg Fridriksdóttir, born 1989 in Reykjavík, studied composition at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and graduated in 2013. Her Bachelor thesis dealt with opportunities and limitations of animated notation. Her works have been performed e.g. atReykjavík Culture Nights, Podium festival and Dark Music Days and been favourably reviewed by the music critic of The Times.
The world will not end in 2015 is a commissioned work in public space. The artist works with the idea of fear propaganda in our society. In a humorous way she reflects on the Maya prophecy of apocalypse in 2012 with a multilayered message to individuals as well as the society alltogeter. The sound part of the work gives it another perspective as The New World Symphony by Antonin Dvorák is broadcasted over the public parking space in Kopavogur. The Symphony was written as an ode to The New World as refugees from Europe where immigrating in the US during WWII. The words and the music together become a reminder of how constantly our world is changing, ending and beginning all at once.
Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir is an Icelandic visual artist and filmmaker based in Berlin who works with video, cinema, mixed-media installation, sculpture, performance and intervention in works that touch upon socio-economic issues from a personal perspective. She has a MA degree in interactive design from Middlesex University (2001) and BA in visual art from Iceland Academy of the Arts (2007) and BA in cultural anthropology from the Unversity of Iceland (1997). Her solo-exhibitions include for example Reykjavik Art Festival (2014), De-Construkt projects New York (2013), Reykjavik Art Museum (2011) and Program, Berlin (2010). She also taken part in numerous group exhibitions and screenings internationally. Guðnadóttir has won many awards for her filmmaking, including Icelandic Academy Awards 'Edda' for best documentary.
Christina Kubisch (DE) studied painting, music (flute and composition) and electronics in Hamburg, Graz, Zürich and Milano, where she graduated. Performances, concerts and works with video in the seventies, subsequently sound installations, sound sculptures and work with ultraviolet light. Her compositions are mostly electroacoustic, but she has written for ensembles as well. Since 2003 she works again as a performer and collaborates with various musicians and dancers.
Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir is a composer/hornist residing in Reykjavík. In her works she often combines the visual and the aural through some form of animated notation or combined media. As a performer Bergrún has worked with Björk, Sigur Rós and many other Icelandic bands.
Flutist and interdisciplinary artist Berglind Tómasdóttir frequently explores identity and archetypes in her work. Tómasdóttir has worked with elements of video art, theater and music through various performances, including the acclaimed I’m an Island (2012). Her work has been featured at Reykjavík Arts Festival, MSPS New Music Festival in Shreveport, Louisiana, The 2013 National Flute Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, REDCAT in Los Angeles, CMMAS in Morelia, Mexico and the Bang on a Can Marathon in San Francisco. Berglind Tómasdóttir holds degrees in flute playing from Reykjavík College of Music and the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in Copenhagen and a DMA in contemporary music performance from University of California, San Diego.