The Sequences Art Festival - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Sequences Art Festival

The Sequences Art Festival

Published October 6, 2007

“We’re putting emphasis on time-based art in unconventional places,” says Andrea Maack, project manager for the Sequences “real-time art festival” taking place between October 12–21 in downtown Reykjavík.

“We’re encouraging artists to think outside the box and outside the gallery, and have art be visible and just all over the place, within this period of time,” she adds.

The festival, held for the second year in a row, will feature more than 150 artists in more than thirty locations around town, including all of the city’s major art museums and galleries as well as unusual locations such as bars, clothing shops, movie rentals, hair salons, coffee shops, hotels, banks as well as on the street.

The festival’s opening day will commence at the foot of the new music house by the east harbour with a performance by Haraldur Jónsson and Ólöf Björnsdóttir, followed by a stop at the Living Arts Museum and a tour around the various happenings and performances around town.

The distinction of time-sensitive and timebased art is an important focus within the Sequences Festival, as the name “sequences,” an order in which related events or movements follow, implies.

“The essence is that the viewer needs to give himself time to enjoy the work,” says Maack. “You see a screening somewhere and you need to give yourself a little bit of time. This is the frame that the festival exists within, but we’ve also encouraged the artists to play and work within it.”

The issue of time is something that all the artists, directly or indirectly, deal with in their work, especially since many of the projects are video and performance installations. Þóra Gunnarsdóttir and Elín Þórisdóttir are two young artists responsible for “Sally and Mo, gone with the wind”, a video and photographic project which will be on display at the Aðalvideóleigan on Klapparstígur.

“We find tourists very sexy, especially when they wear yellow rain ponchos,” says Þórisdóttir of the piece. “These are photographs and videos that we take of ourselves when we are dressing up. Most often we wear these yellow ponchos and red clown noses. We’re playing with clichés and boundaries, exploring where the line lies.

“Our project was an experiment with the artistic form, in which we set out to know as little as possible about what we were planning to do before we entered into it. But we always had a certain frame to work within, which was and is Icelandic nature, and playing with the ideas and images people have with it.”

The work on display throughout the weeklong festival will be spread out in space and subject matter, featuring films, photographs, videos and performance art.

Lars Laumann’s sixteen-minute film, “Morrissey Foretelling The Death of Diana,” will be shown at Kubburinn at the Arts Academy between October 16-21, and sets out to prove that Morrissey, the former lead singer of melancholy pop group The Smiths, predicted the 1997 death of Princess Diana of Wales through hints embedded in his lyrics and Smith’s record sleeves and music videos. Through a montage of found film, song and video fragments collected and meticulously detailed from the Smith’s 1986 album “The Queen Is Dead,” the film apparently proves Morrissey’s clairvoyance… or perhaps just that with the right amount of work, all conspiracies can be proven true.

Live performances will also take place during the festival at various locations around town, including outside at Austurvöllur, and on Laugavegur, as well as in Dwarf Gallery, Laugardalshöllin, the National Gallery of Iceland, National Museum of Iceland, The Optical Studio, Reykjavik Art Museum, the Living Art Museum, the Reykjavik City Theatre, the Tourist Information Center and 101 gallery. For a few nights, one lucky tree in downtown Reykjavík will change from a tree giving shadow during the day to a tree giving light in the darkness. The light will invite people to create a private space within the public space, and hopes to illustrate how one influences one’s surroundings, leaving traces of oneself that slowly fade. The project, titled “Flyvsk, In the light of the tree,” by Julie Linke Bank and Tatiana Lyng, is just one of many live artistic exhibitions that will grace the city throughout the week.

On the weekend close to the festival there will be three Tjarnarbíó-Nights at the old movie theatre on Tjarnargata, with musical performances in the evening and a concluding final celebration to end the festival on Saturday night.

For more information on the Sequences festival visit www.sequences.is
For full listings see Grapevine info pages.

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