From Iceland — Different But Connected: An Exhibition Straddling Worlds

Different But Connected: An Exhibition Straddling Worlds

Published March 2, 2024

Different But Connected: An Exhibition Straddling Worlds

“It feels like our practices will meet and maybe also clash,” Claire Paugam says of her upcoming exhibition at Gallery Port. “Maybe a part of our practices will get lost on the way, maybe meeting other pieces that are very different will reveal a new side of the work or a new perception of the work.”

Claire will be exhibiting alongside Baldur Helgason and Loji Höskuldsson at the newly relocated Gallery Port from March 2 to 27. Titled “Lost Track”, the show brings together the three very different artists to display their work and allow the viewer to draw comparisons or simply dwell in the differences.

Originating from Paris, Claire is not a new name on the Icelandic arts scene. Since graduating from Iceland University of the Arts in 2016, she has been active in curation and exhibiting, culminating in her being awarded the Icelandic Art Prize Motivational Award of the Year in 2020 for her “ambitious and powerful contribution to the arts.”

It’s us artists meeting and just making something up and bringing what we have — it’s a very joyful and fun process.

Claire’s contribution to “Lost Track” is a contemplation on ageing, disappearance and destruction. While it may at first glance seem to clash with the cartoon figures that define Baldur’s work or the colourful embroidery of Loji’s practice, there is a red thread connecting themes of disappearance, death and nostalgia — even if the individual works on display may seem to be worlds apart.

“It was Árni [Már Erlingsson, co-owner of Gallery Port] who had the idea of doing this exhibition with Loji, Baldur and I,” Claire explains of how the three established but seemingly disparate artists came to be exhibiting together. “There’s no curator, it’s us artists meeting and just making something up and bringing what we have — it’s a very joyful and fun process.”

What Claire brings is a large-scale photo installation that is both curved and suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the space. “So when you enter the exhibition, you see one side of it,” she explains, “but you have to walk around to see the full image. Once you come to the other side, you see the inside of the photograph and it’s another image. So it’s really playing with 2D and 3D and trying to make photography more of a fluid medium.”

At Gallery Port, Claire hopes her installation and the works of Baldur and Loji come together to create a memorable experience. “Like maybe they’ll feel like they’re being pulled in different directions,” she says. “Or they realise that even though the art works are very different, they stand on their own, and looking from one artist to another is a very joyful experience — like jumping from one visual world to another.”

“It is going to be fun to see very different artworks together and realise that art can take you in so many directions and to so many different places,” she says, “and the pieces being next to each other just makes your mind travel even more.”

“Lost Track” opens at Gallery Port’s new location at Hallgerðargata 19-23 on March 2 at 16:00 and runs until March 27. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 to 17:00 or by appointment. Check out the event listing on Facebook.

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