A revival has occurred in artist run spaces after the closing of many exciting galleries such as the Dwarf Gallery, Bananananas and 101 Gallery. Many independent artist-led galleries seemed to have faded and disappeared. It seemed like no one dared to resurrect the old or had the gumption to create something new. However, now that the established Icelandic art scene has encountered difficulties, with less money to invest in shows and limiting their exhibition spectrum to fewer artists – which was noticeable in this year’s Reykjavík Art Festival – young artists, writers, poets and musicians seem to have little else other than to create their own environments once again.
Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir and Sólveig Pálsdóttir were frustrated by the art scene and the lack of opportunities available for young people. “Our aim was to create a scene for young artists to take their first steps,” says Þorgerður, who happens to be living the basement apartment of the gallery. “You have to make things happen for yourself and there are no galleries going to jump on you.”
With over 30 active members to the gallery, the women have organised an ambitious summer schedule: flea markets, weekly exhibitions, a small designer shop and even a fashion show – all within the petite confines of a small house. The gallery’s size has not deterred the curators, who intend to cover every wall with art for sale. The weekly exhibitions will commence every Friday night and last till the following Friday: one upstairs in the attic (which needs a bit of flexibility and manoeuvring to get to) and another in the living area as you enter past the small shop.
Openings Every Friday
This Friday will feature an extravaganza of poetry, music and two separate artist exhibitions. At 8 PM, there will be a site specific installation piece by Gunnar Helgi Guðjónsson, who aims to create works of art in and around the living room space, whilst in the attic Kristen Sigurðardóttír will question the role of drawing and painting by developing her art under the watchful eyes of an audience. Followed this at 9 PM, the Gum Poets will perform a poetry slam. The poets have announced that their style has never been brought to Iceland before, so it should either be an intense exploration of new territory in poetry embedding itself into the history books or some hilarious tomfoolery on a rooftop.
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