From Iceland — The Cure For Cabin Fever: Art!

The Cure For Cabin Fever: Art!

Published March 4, 2022

The Cure For Cabin Fever: Art!
Andie Sophia Fontaine
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All pandemic restrictions have now been lifted, both domestically and at the border, so if you’ve grown weary of yet another event being held on Zoom and are itching to mingle with the public again, your time has come. Likewise, if you’d delayed coming to Iceland for nigh two years now due to the border rules, you no longer have that excuse.

Lucky for you, there’s a bunch of exhibitions going on this month and beyond that are definitely worth checking out, and appeal to seasoned gallery crawlers and art newcomers alike. Here’s what March and beyond have in store for you.

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Underworld Of Akureyri
Icelandic Art Center, until August 2022

Ragnar is one of Iceland’s more internationally renowned living artists, having most recently made a splash with his touring video installation, Death Is Elsewhere. This particular exhibition adds a splash of snark right in the title: what kind of “underworld” can a town of just over 18,000 people possibly have? Expect this work to be more specific to the Icelandic character than some of his more internationally accessible works, as it explores the national spirit and the artist’s place within it. “In Akureyri everything is a little bit more OK than in other places,” Ragnar says. Go see what he means by this.

Joey Keys: Turning
Gallery Port, March 5 through March 17

Definitely an exhibition for the more tactile-minded, Turning features an installation of sculptures made from oak. These pieces seek to explore “the idea of function and compromise around art objects, as well as the gallery space”, which is certainly well worth exploring in a town where some of the grander spaces are reserved for Iceland’s more established galleries and museums, while the young upstarts have to make do with whatever space they can manage to scrape together. Definitely worth a look.

Alicja Kwade: In Relation To The Sun
i8 Grandi, through December 2022

Famed gallery i8 proudly announces a new location at Grandi, with a focus on single-artist, year-long exhibitions. And it looks like they’ve chosen well, selecting Polish artist Alicja Kwade to be the star of the new space. Installation, sculpture, and work on paper–this exhibition has it all, all revolving (if you’ll excuse the pun) around the fluid nature of time and space. In keeping with that, even the name of the exhibition itself can be expected to change over the course of the year. So to avoid confusion, whenever you choose to visit, just know it’s the Kwade showing at i8 Grandi.

Santiago Mostyn: 08-18 (Past Perfect)
Gerðarsafn, through March 27th

Photography, all too overlooked as a medium of fine art as well as commercial and journalistic, is the centerpiece of this exhibition from Swedish-based artist Santiago Mostyn. Here, his photos cover his travels around Trinidad, Zimbabwe, Grenada, the United States, and Scandinavia, capturing moments of personal significance to the artist. Furthermore, his film work Drawing For Bellevue Estate will be shown. Shot entirely on the island of Tobago–incidentally, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe’s setting–the film explores the overlap between exploration and colonisation.

Erró The Traveller
Reykjavík Art Museum, through March 27th

What can really be said about Erró that hasn’t been said already? The pop artist is arguably the darling of Iceland’s art history, and this exhibition focuses primarily on Erró’s travels, which played an important role in the creation of his works over the years. Always eye-catching, provocative and compelling, viewing these works will give the visitor the slightest peak into the world as seen through the eyes of Iceland’s most famous artist.

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