Thursday, January 10, 2008

About Art, Again

I am taking revenge for two weeks being cooped at home due to the holiday season, school break and bad weather by basking in the inexhaustible art scene of Reykjavik. Today I stopped at Hafnarhús to see the exhibition of one of the Iceland’s leading conceptual artists Hreinn Friðfinnsson. The variety of the media he works with is remarkable – there are photos and notes, installations and drawings, glass and cardboard, wood and fabric. The first image meeting you at the entrance is a hand reflecting in the mirror. The label reads “So far”. My mind immediately answered “only so far you can reach”. Right next to it is a vertical raw of tear – shaped crystals, simply named “16 drops.” In the next room you are faced with a white and black photo of a man standing in a darkened room. He stands in profile to a viewer; his hands caught a splash of colours – red, green and purple. The work is untitled. On the same wall in complete contrast you see a cardboard box, brightly coloured inside and titled “Sanctuary”. There is a left shoe on the floor, mirrored to show its mate, named "Pair"; there is a “Beauty Mark” made of small black felt circle lying lonely on the windowsill, there are mirrors on the floor that make glass jars whole or doubled. All these pieces seemingly thrown together without any particular order create an enchanted universe, where objects reflecting in the mirrors, start living their own life; old legends, caught on photos and papers, inviting you for a journey; everyday objects looked delightfully odd and their unexpected placement made you smile. A catalog itself can be read like a poetry “For Light, Shadow and Dust”, “Afterthought”, “Element of Doubt”, “Lightening and Thunder”, “Seven times”. The artist seems to be playing with a notice that everything can be turned into art. His humour denies conventional thinking, opens up minds. For some it can be tough to take - as I was strolling around, admiring the author’s creativity, I saw a young man coming in, making a quick spin around, shaking his head and leaving with an expression of puzzlement on his face. I think about bringing the kids here, it would be interesting to see their reaction, to talk afterwards.

All images in this post are courtesy o f the internet.

On completely unrelated topic, I got my first rejection letter. I view it as a good sign, since I finally gathered a courage to submit some of my writing, which is a big step forward.

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