Progressive MP Calls Artist "Attention Whore" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Progressive MP Calls Artist “Attention Whore”

Published November 9, 2014

"Being blacklisted by this bunch is a compliment" responds Snorri Ásmundsson

"Being blacklisted by this bunch is a compliment" responds Snorri Ásmundsson

As reported, a crew from the gossip medium Séð og heyrt happened to catch Þórunn Egilsdóttir, a member of Alþingi on behalf of the Progressive party, warning artist Snorri Ásmundsson, that she hoped his negative comments about her party would not come back to haunt him later on.

Following the recording’s circulation through news and social media, DV reports that another member of the party’s Alþingi crew has now spoken, not about the incident but about the artist involved. MP Þorsteinn Sæmundsson, seen above (left) commented on Facebook: “”The artist” involved is probably Iceland’s biggest attention whore. The fact that he does receive attention shows once more how weak the country’s media is.” The quotations marks are Þorsteinn’s.

Snorri Ásmundsson

Snorri Ásmundsson counts as one of Iceland’s most prominent and most controversial visual artists. His most recent exhibition is titled “Framsóknarmaðurinn” or The Progressive party member, an installation seen pictured above (right).

Numerous representatives of the Progressive party now seem to prefer referring to the artist within quotation marks. Sigrún Magnúsdóttir, floor leader of the party, spoke in the same vein as Þorsteinn, above, urging Þórunn to “continue mediating in your gentle and courteous manner”.

Asked to respond, Snorri said: “I’m not afraid of this clan and never have been. But a friend of mine who works within the arts, told me to expect being on a black list all around where they are at. I couldn’t care less. Adversity bolsters me. In my mind, being blacklisted by this bunch is a compliment.”

The Progressive party has been known for political meddling against certain artistic tendencies, ever since the early 1940s. Upon taking power in 2013, the party’s chair, Prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, transferred certain cultural projects, those which he categorizes as having to do with “national culture“, from the Ministry of culture, education and science, to his own ministry. He has been criticized for funding cultural projects according to personal whim.

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