Art Project On The Road To Mongolia - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Art Project On The Road To Mongolia

Art Project On The Road To Mongolia

Published July 15, 2011

Photos by
Julia Staples

The art collaborative Mud Lab, consisting of the three Icelandic artists, Egill Karlsson, Gunnar Pétursson and Thor Sigurthorsson, will be embarking on a fantastical journey to Mongolia in the end of July… and yes it is a journey via car, not plane!

Mud Lab is participating in the Mongolia Rally for charity as an art project; they will be creating work on the way, exhibiting and using their car as the exhibition venue, compiling footage for a documentary and the trip within itself is a performance. They are driving from Iceland to Mongolia through many unfamiliar parts of the world, including the no-man’s land on the borders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgizstan, to name a few. The Mongolia Rally is an opportunity the artists have been eager to be a part of for four years now, when Gunnar initially found out about it.

“THE GATE TO HELL”

Gunnar says that he was drawn to it for the chance to experience areas of the world that we do not know that much about. The unforeseen obstacles and adventures are the compelling components of this project and how it will be infiltrated into their art and shared with vastly different cultures. The uncertainty of the vehicle’s survival and using the vehicle as an art platform is a very significant part of this project, which holds a common thread to the work by the artist Swoon. She handcrafted rafts from recycled material or garbage, that was sailed down rivers and used to stage performances, such as her projects on the Hudson River, Mississippi River and down the waterway from Slovenia to Venice, Italy.

The Mud Lab artists are looking forward to seeing many bizarre and phenomenal landmarks along the way to Mongolia, including Darvaza in Tajikistan, which is an empty crater with a blazing fire from an oil drill that collapsed around 40 years ago, also called “the gate to hell”, an abandoned planet observatory on the border of Kyrgizstan and Kazakhstan and the infamous Pamir Highway. Their blog will be updated throughout their journey and Rás 2 will be calling the artists regularly throughout the trip on the morning radio, so people can follow up with how they are doing and hear about their exciting adventures.

After their journey, they will have an exhibition in Reykjavík and a documentary will be made. The rally is a tool for art and education for these artists, as well as donating to two charities, UNICEF and Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. Mud Lab recently had an exhibition at the SÍM house on Hafnarstræti to fund the charities and will be having an open studio starting Wednesday, July 13, until they leave on July 24, where they will be selling their work for charity. The Open Studio is at Skólavördurstígur 1b. You can also make donations to the charities through their website – http://mud-lab.com.

We are wishing these guys the best of luck and safe travels in their car, which they have been slaving on to prepare, a Peugeot 306 / 2002 / 1.6L. We will hopefully talk to them when they return, so stay posted!

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