From Iceland — Visible Darkness

Visible Darkness

Published December 21, 2010

Visible Darkness

While the cold snap and Christmas rush are in full swing, Hugmyndahúsið out on Granda, offers short-term respite from the hustle, bustle and brrrr. Hugmyndahúsið (The House of Ideas) is currently hosting an exhibition of mixed mediums and artists, entitled ‘Visible Darkness’ (Sýnilegt Myrkur), and it is worth getting off the beaten track of Christmas trinkets and treats and making your way down past the harbour to check out the show.
At the beginning of this year, Hugmyndahúsið, an organization run in collaboration by the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Reykjavík University, began offering free studio space to individuals and groups of all different kinds, from graphic designers and architects to performing artists and media critics. ‘Visible Darkness’ is in large part the resulting work of visual artists who share studio space in an old fishing-net plant at Faxaflói harbour.
The show exhibits the works of 12 artists, most of whom are recent graduates of Iceland Academy of the Arts (Listaháskóli). Although the mediums are mixed—video installations, paintings, prints, photogaphs and more—a murky, warm light and dreamy aspect unite many of the works and they stand well together. At the opening this past Saturday, Kristín Sigurðardóttir’s ‘How do you like Iceland?’ seemed to be gathering much of the attention. It is comprised of a series of black and white photographs depicting shadier corners of Reykjavík night life and printed on what seemed to be a mash up of paper (see photo above).
The collaborative video installation by Vala Björg Hafsteinsdóttir and Auður Arna Oddgeirsdóttir fittingly exemplifies the dreamy aspect of the exhibition as a whole. Projected onto a white wall, two monitors loop 8mm clips of what seems to be old family footage, overlaid with some blue, underwater video and accompanied by music from the soundtrack to the film ‘Under the Volcano.’

However, my favourite piece was Kristín Sunna Sigurðadóttir’s series of prints on aluminium planks. The work captures familiar Reykjavík cityscapes and automobile obsessions and yet charms the viewer into appreciating the softer hues of its industrial medium and subject.

‘Visible Darkness’ runs until December 22. The exhibition is open to everyone and free.
Where: Hugmyndahúsið, Grandagarður 2, to see location on map, click here
When: 13:00-17:00

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