From Iceland — People At Their Worst

People At Their Worst

Published September 3, 2004

People At Their Worst

The room is large and the lighting has been dimmed. On each wall there is a rectangular square whereupon two video installations are being shown, side by side, so that at first I think it is one picture.

Looking, breathing, thinking, the effect is physical. As the essay musings suggest, there is a tangible element of time. Moving and/or standing still, but undeniably present. This is Finnur Arnar’s Installation on the bottom floor of Hafnarhúsið.

I head on up to look at Los Caprichos by Francisco de Goya. Los Caprichos is a series of 80 engravings. A collection remarkable not only for its sheer volume, or the amazing display of luminosity and darkness always found in Goya’s work, but also for its audacity. It is daring, it is overwhelming and unapologetic.

The depictions are people – and fairy tale creatures – at their worst. Even for those, such as myself, who are unaware of what the Spanish political climate was in 1797 the satire is obvious and recognizable in 2004. It easily stands the test of more than two hundred years.

I head for the last exhibit, Katrín Sigurðardóttir’s installation. Her delicate yet striking work demands attention and cautious consideration. Made of partly gigantic, partly minute square pieces it forms a labyrinth, flowing from one room to another, in many ways creating a spatial continuum of Finnur Arnar’s time travel. Other visitors rush past me, seeming to think that it leads to something, only to find that there is no conclusion.

Finnur Arnar Arnarson
Francisco de Goya
Katrín Sigurðardóttir
At Listasafn Rekjavíkur, Hafnarhús Aug. 21 to Oct.3rd.

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