Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You drive me crazy.

If I could name one of my gifts it would be to make people talk. People feel comfortable to share their thoughts, worries and stories with me; it doesn’t matter if they know me or we just met. Today this aforementioned gift scored me an interesting tale. The work of a young Icelandic artist has been presented on the second floor of the National Gallery of Iceland since May. The artist is known for her installations which draw "a viewer into a physical dialogue with the work and encourage the possibility to re-evaluate one’s relation to space and place.” In this particular installation the hall was divided into narrow corridors. There in complete darkness, guided by a lonely flickering light, the viewer was supposed to find his way out of this artificial maze. The sign on the metallic door leading to the exhibition hall warned: “This exhibition may cause a slight claustrophobic effect. Not recommended for pregnant women and young children.” Only one person at a time was allowed to enter that hall and usually an assistant sitting by the door was enquiring if a walkie- talkie was needed. I visited the exhibition back in May and can testify that the total darkness does cause you to lose sense of direction and it didn’t feel thrilling. During the summer months a person entered the hall and.... lost his bearings somewhere in the middle of his journey through the darkness. In a desperate attempt to get out he crashed through the walls and was in need of medical assistance. The installation indeed draw "a viewer into a physical dialogue" - the maze literally drove him crazy. What was meant to be “a psychological and phenomenological playground” turned into a psychological horror. How is this for a power of art?

* It is interesting that the receipt ,which I mentioned in my previous post and “the house of horror” belongs to the same artist.

** The photo is courtesy of http://www.artnew.is/

No comments: