Culture
Art
Helena Aðalsteinsdóttir: On Time, Space And The Memory Of Energy

Helena Aðalsteinsdóttir: On Time, Space And The Memory Of Energy

Words by
Photos by
Blair Alexander Massie

Published October 4, 2017

In art as in life there are things you get and things that you just can’t place. You have things that catch your eye because they’re beautiful and those that grab you aggressively by the collar because they’re—let’s just say it—plain weird.

Helena Aðalsteinsdóttir’s creations fall heavily within the second category. Her car-crash-inspired sculpture with a metal door that encouraged the viewer to “ride like the wind to feel free again,” while car pieces were flying all around, would leave you scratching your head for an embarrassing amount of time. But how many times can you walk around a setting like this and discover a new side of it with every turn? How many questions can one ask oneself about a single sculpture? If a piece sparks that much debate, there must be something to it and, as in most things, it’s there somewhere, hidden and waiting for you to find it.

The inner energy of things

Helena is a master at hiding clues. “I put some in each object so when they are together they form a storyline,” she explains. “The closer you look at it, somehow the more clues you get and then you can build up your own story of what’s happening in front of you.” Although it seems oh-so-calculated, Helena works intuitively so that even when she makes sketches the material ends up steering the process in its own direction. Her work is raw, as if she were trying to get right into things and turn them inside out, spilling out an unpredictable stream of thoughts. Far from static, much of what Helena does is almost liquid in its essence.

“All things store energy… I really try to make inanimate objects come alive.”

“It has a lot to do with movement,” she says. “I really try to make inanimate objects come alive. All things store energy, no? So I want to be able to show that objects have this energy and that they’ve been part of a bigger story.” Just as Pollock waited for the brush to guide his hand on the canvas, Helena’s intuitions and sudden movements give her a chance to explore sides of her sculptures that were unknown even to her.

Frequencies on Sequences

Despite living in Amsterdam, Helena has been working on a sculpture that will be showcased in Iceland at the Sequences Festival. Instructed to use time as her raw material, Helena decided to stretch her hands towards the past and the future, exploring the concept of technology and the way we choose to pour our egos and identities into it. Also, in collaboration with the festival and her friend Ásgerður Birna Björnsdóttir, Helena has been curating ‘GSM: Frequences on Sequences,’ which will channel art spaces through radio frequencies. “Radio is never used as an art platform,” Helena explains. “So we thought we’d tell the artists that they have to think about these three minutes as a physical space that they kind of install their work into.”

Perhaps Virginia Woolf was right, and time flows inside people rather than outside. But in Helena’s work, space and matter also cease to follow traditional paradigms of empirical perception, shaping a world where our minds are just another room we can dwell in.

Get more info here, and visit Helena’s website here.


Culture
Art
Blábankinn: The Blue Bank Opens In Þingeyri

Blábankinn: The Blue Bank Opens In Þingeyri

by

In the small town of Þingeyri, in the Westfjords of Iceland, something very exciting is brewing. There’s a new bank

Culture
Art
Documenting Inner Fantasy: Hafsteinn Viðar Ársælsson’s ‘Svartmálmur’

Documenting Inner Fantasy: Hafsteinn Viðar Ársælsson’s ‘Svartmálmur’

by

In February 2016, the Grapevine profiled the burgeoning Icelandic black metal scene in a feature entitled, “Welcome To The Circle.”

Culture
Art
Shoplifter To Represent Iceland At Venice Biennial 2019

Shoplifter To Represent Iceland At Venice Biennial 2019

by

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, who works under the nom-du-guerre Shoplifter, has been announced as Iceland’s representative at the 58th Venice Biennial art

Culture
Art
Dragons, Deities, Morphoclogs: Reykjavík Arts Festival’s Stellar Opening Day

Dragons, Deities, Morphoclogs: Reykjavík Arts Festival’s Stellar Opening Day

by

There’s something strange going on outside Iðnó. A cluster of tall, black, bipedal reptiles stand with their backs to the

Culture
Art
Reykjavík Arts Festival: Dragsúgur—A Gust Of Air, Or A Mobile Gallery?

Reykjavík Arts Festival: Dragsúgur—A Gust Of Air, Or A Mobile Gallery?

by

The Wind and Weather Window Gallery (WWWG) is an unconventional gallery located in the front window of the 105-year-old house

Culture
Art
Get Your Mind Blown: Reykjavík Arts Festival Picks

Get Your Mind Blown: Reykjavík Arts Festival Picks

by

Reykjavík Arts Festival is here once more to take over the city with openings, exhibitions, music, and all flavours of

Show Me More!