The „Chronotopology” exhibition is a presentation of works by the Icelandic art group Start Art. The works of four artists will be shown: Anna Eyjólfsdóttir, Ragnhildur Stefánsdóttir, Thordis Alda Sigurdardóttir, Thuridur Sigurdardottir, which were earlier exhibited, among others, in the Ark Gallery in Vilnius. The opening on June 9th (Sunday) at 4pm will be attended by Ragnhildur Stefánsdóttir, specially coming from Iceland.
The exhibition’s title Chronotopology comes from the words „chronology”, meaning the science of measuring time intervals and assigning the appropriate dates to events; and „topology”, which determines the location and mapping of specific sites.
Members of the artistic group Start Art created and shaped their own ideology, which explores the concepts of time, place and history in the broadest possible sense, and of places where stories are told, remembered or forgotten, and the places become embedded in memory or lose their meaning. Chronotopology is an elusive, changing scene where time and space are blending together and move, constantly shaping our culture. . The opening on June 9th (Sunday) at 4pm will be attended by Ragnhildur Stefánsdóttir, specially coming from Iceland.
Exhibition open until 06.07.2013
A flock of sheep, inhabiting a surreal world of golden objects and dwellings, in a mythical land that nonetheless resembles our own condition. Like the sheep in this sculptural installation, we seem blind to our destiny, caught up in our possessions and our reoccupations. We dream of a land of plenty – like the land of Cockaigne in medieval myth, where roasted pigs walk about with knives stuck in their backs and the wine flows freely, as shown in the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The work is a meditation on the state of our society, brought into focus by the current financial and political crisis. In Iceland, as in most of the Western world, the crisis was preceded by a period of profligacy and frantic acquisitiveness, a cult of material wealth that many people seem unwilling or unable to abandon. Meanwhile, members of the political class preen in the tawdry palaces of power and the rich indulge in their fantasy of easy wealth. It is a strong spell and we fritter our lives away on useless pursuits, all the while believing in the importance and completeness of our world of gilt things and blue velvet. A land of myth and childish fancy seems the perfect reflection of the current state of our society as, like sheep, we wander aimlessly, slaves to our
primitive appetites and pointless greed. In this grotesque and humorously portrayed world we can all too easily see our own reflection.
THE TONGUE is both a bodily organ and an instrument for speech. As an organ the tongue is here for chewing, swallowing, singing, licking, eating, tasting, digesting, feeling, loving and sensing. “I sense therefore I am.” The tongue can also reveal the health condition of the body. The healthy tongue is pink but any discoloration or change in texture can be an alarming sign. Silently the tongue speaks to us and thus speaks the truth about our condition. The tongue is the organ for verbal self-expression. Without the tongue there would be no languages, no mother tongues, but the word for tongue and language are synonymous in many languages. Thus the tongue is directly linked to speech, to words, to names. “Tongue” is however only a metaphor for the fact that we communicate through the medium of language because language is something we learn; it is so to speak imposed on us by others, culture and society. “I speak therefore I am us.” For there to be authentic and creative, individual verbal expression we however have to enhance our sense for our internal selves, others and the environment. The tongue is an example and a medium for such an intensified sense as an organ that is a part of our embodied, earthly being. Revitalizing sterile language by expressing diverse experiences of reality requires connecting with all these factors that condition our being. The tongue is both a medium for self-expression and for interpersonal and intercultural communication. Language develops through interaction. The plurality of languages and within a language guarantees vitality based on differences that discloses new possibilities for meaning and sense. Mankind is a polyphonic choir singing and speaking in many tongues. The work Vox populi displays languages as tongues in one giant tongue and underscores how the different languages constitute a diversified, interactive, rich and ever changing world.
Thordis Alda Sigurdardóttir
My Mother’s Skirts
In the smallest things you can discover the largest context; in daily life you will find that which we all share. In my work I have often used outdated or used-up objects that refer to the
past, combining them with other materials that reflect our current ideas. In the Cairn series (2012) I am working with impressions from my childhood. I call them My Mother’s Skirts. I was four or five years old and slept in the old, yellow cot in my parent’s room. Every morning, I awoke as my mother got up quietly and began to dress herself. I watched her movements with sleepy eyes. Still half asleep, I listened to the rustle of her clothes. This happened every morning, a given ritual, as natural as the sun rising from behind the glaciers in the countryside where I grew up. Slowly, she would reach for her skirts, one after the other. First her slip, then the grey skirt, then the dress, her apron and, sometimes, a coarser apron, depending on what she had planned for the day. This vision was an assurance that another day, much like the day before, was about to begin. All was as it should be. To my childish self, this was an assurance of security. My mother was her usual self and nothing would move
her, any more than the glacier could be moved. When I look back, I see the cairns that marked the road and I understand what they mean when I look to the future. The cairns make it easier to get one’s bearings.
Thordis Alda Sigurdardottir
Translation: Jon Proppe
I close my eyes, time stands still, and I connect with the Icelandic nature. My mind leads me into the world of imagination, here memory is mixed with hope and expectation, and reality plays only a small role. I flee to a place where there is silence, shining stars, dancing northern lights, and snow reflecting the pale light. In order to avoid the cold, everyday environment created by the financial meltdown, I reach out for the vastness of space and into the reclusion
of my mind. The debate on value, profit and loss fills the day, but the world I paint is the world of peace and kindness, which explores my love of nature and memories from childhood storybooks. This is my world, just like the world I experience through my horses. My world extends into my studio, where I thread the line between figurative and abstract, play and contemplative precision while I select gripping sections of horses and then paint these sections in full size, almost hair by hair, driven by my love of the animal and the thoughts of the nicest times I spend keeping them, feeding them and riding them. The horse has a unique symbolic meaning in the world of the Icelandic sagas, but in my life and work there is also a
deep connection between horse and nature. In my contribution to this exhibition, I propose that we think about a different system of values than the ones prevalent in today’s so-called reality. I strive for my art to bring us to an icy river, close to my home where childhood memories, nature, horses and passion for painting meet.