Making Of An Artist: Ásta Fanney - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Making Of An Artist: Ásta Fanney

Making Of An Artist: Ásta Fanney

Photos by
Magnús Andersen

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir is a super active presence on Reykjavík’s cultural scene. Whether writing poetry, performing spaced-out improv music, carrying out mysterious art performances, or performing as the singer of her band aYia, Ásta is an ever-interesting artistic polymath. Here are some of the formative influences that helped her along the way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdzlVpJnfdk

Color: The Color of Pomegranates (Film from 1969, Sergei Parajanov)

This film is wordless poetry. My friend Gyða told me about it, I am very grateful. It is so nice to see something so poetic yet there are no words in it.

Book: The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
(1980, Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi)

A very handy guide for looking up places that don’t really exist.

Paper: 1000 hours of staring (1992-97, Tom Friedman)

This artist stared at a piece of paper for 1000 hours. I like this artwork, something so loaded just because you give it meaning and value, which goes with almost anything in life. There is also an interesting connection to the worth of time in this piece.

Vultures: Intestins de Bouddha (“Buddha’s Intestines,” 2006, Huang Yong Ping)

I think I saw this ten years ago. What I mostly liked about it is that it was so simple and didn’t need much to have an impact on you with this visual language connected to the material.

Makeup: sadsalvia

There is this makeup artist I found on Instagram called sadsalvia, very strange stuff. I like it.

Detective: Columbo

There is a lot learn from this fellow. Columbo’s attitude towards life in general is actually brilliant, and it is strangely funny as well. I think I mostly look at the artist as being some kind of detective.

Children’s Book: The Little Prince (1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

Beautiful, smart and simple. The funny thing is that I never read this book as a child, only got to know it when I got a little more grown-up. But the best children’s books are maybe not really only for children. 


Dada Poet: Hugo Ball
I think I first got to know this poet as a teenager, I really liked the mix of performance and poetry and the possibility of words beyond normal use. It opened up a whole world for me.

Dog: Moondog
A very special character. A musician and a poet and sometimes both at once.

Weird Rap: Death Grips
Strange use of the voice in this music—how the words are glued in the soundline. The lyrics are very good and could work as poetry. 


Random internet image: drömmer.jpg

I don’t remember where I saw this, it is a little bit dramatic. I think some person posted this on Facebook some years ago. But I have it on my desktop, very handy when your mind tends to wander and focus on the wrong things.

Read more Making Of An Artist articles here. Learn more about Ásta Fanney here.


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