ReykjavíkCheating the Constant
Dodda Maggý, Finnbogi Pétursson, Gruppo MID, Iván Navarro, Jitish Kallat, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir and Steina
Dodda Maggý’s (1981) studied fine arts and musical composition in Iceland and in Scandinavia. Her audio-visual works explore the artistic language of the two mediums combined, sometimes mediated through performance, providing poetic works that carry a lyrical sensibility. The works often visualize perceptual experiences and mental states, carrying the viewer into various altered states of consciousness. That particular transcendence is provided through visually lush moving imagery as well as her musical compositions and her interest in the relationship between the two, wavering on the border of the fantastical.
Finnbogi Pétursson (1959) studied in Iceland and the Netherlands and first exhibited in 1980 with the artist-run gallery Suðurgata 7, Iceland’s most important venue for avant-garde and conceptual art at the time. From the outset, he has combined sound and visual presentation in installations that have no clear precedent in the visual arts but cross the boundaries into music, performance, and uncharted territories where he extends the possibilities of technology. He transforms sound waves into light, reflected off pools of water, and creates mobile sculptures that use feedback to produce an endlessly renewing auditory environment. In 2001 Finnbogi represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale.
Gruppo MID was formed in 1964 in Milan, Italy by Antonio Barrese, Alfonso Grassi, Gianfranco Laminarca and Alberto Marangoni. Gruppo MID have been considered among the leading figures of Kinetic and Programmed art, where MID stands for Mutation, Image and Dimension (Mutamento, Immagine e Dimensione). The group dissolved in 1972, but their mark on Kinetic art still continues.
Iván Navarro (1972) was born in Santiago, Chile, to a family of artists. His experience growing up under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet has inextricably shaped his artistic practice. The recurrent use of electricity in his works allude to the torture and human rights violations inflicted upon the Chilean population under Pinochet’s reign. Similar themes are applied in a global context using themes such as capital punishment, migration and propaganda as key points. Best known for his socio-politically charged sculptures of neon, fluorescent and incandescent light, Navarro’s works activate both the sensorial and psychological experience in his viewer.
Jitish Kallat (1974) is an Indian artist. His vast oeuvre includes works in various artistic medium, such as painting, photography, collage, sculpture, installations and multimedia works, that have been exhibited widely at museums and institutions all around the world. Jitish Kallat is one of the artists representing India at the Venice Biennale 2019.
Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir (1977) works with a variety of visual data to convey the subjectivity of value. She uses color and movement to investigate the principle of constant change. Sirra’s work often seems to find its footing on a thin line between art and entertainment, catching the viewer’s attention without revealing careful artistic investigations into the color spectrum and principles of movement and space. Certain personal symbols bear reference to art history, the status of the artist, statistical information, scientific theories and topographical contexts.
Steina (1940) is a pioneering video artist who has been producing work since the 1960s. She moved from Reykjavík to Prague in 1959 to study the violin and there met her husband, the film maker Woody Vasulka. In 1965 they relocated to New York where Steina gradually came to focus on electronic media and video art. Although Steina and Woody have often collaborated in their art, Steina’s own approach has resulted in an extensive body of work, which includes both video art and performances. She often uses the violin to create not only sound but also images by manipulating the signal through electronic means. Steina’s work has a strong lyrical quality, which is perhaps most clearly expressed in her series of multi-screen video installations using images of landscapes in Iceland and New Mexico, where she and Woody settled in 1980. She has explored the entire range of possibilities in video art and electronic media, from documentaries to purely machine-generated art. Her work has been exhibited at major museums and festivals around the world. In 1976 Steina became a Guggenheim Fellow and in 1997 she represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale.Courtesy of the artists and BERG Contemporary, Reykjavík
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