At the intersection of visual art and literature, the exhibition Yes, a falling tree makes a sound (and it has a lot to say) explores possible narratives. The exhibition is curated by Helena Aðalsteinsdóttir and takes place at Kling & Bang, an artist-run space in Reykjavík, Iceland. Aðalsteinsdóttir is partly based in London and partly in Reykjavík, and she finished her MA in curation from Central Saint Martins last year.
As the name exemplifies, the exhibition has a solid philosophical ground that draws on political, linguistic and metaphysical topics. When a tree falls in a forest, in technical terms, it emits soundwaves. Sound, however, is a sensation. If no one experiences the sensation, does the sensation exist? Is there a difference between the event occurring, the technical, and the perception of the event? Aðalsteinsdóttir reframes the question to ask: what if the tree fell, and no one was listening? What do our sensations of a situation disclose? Might there be alternative ways of listening? The artists and exhibition drew inspiration from feminist sci-fi to imagine a reality different from ours, where current power structures have been disintegrated or never existed in the first place.
In the exhibition Lucky Me? the art-collective Lucky 3, consisting of Darren Mark, Dýrfinna Benita Basalan, and Melanie Ubaldo, draws to attention their experiences that fall in between identification with- and marginalization of the Filipino community and culture. They invite, as they say in the catalogue, a mostly white audience (including me), to experience a reconstructed nostalgia that is not of the audience’s own—while serving as a celebration of the Filipino community in Iceland.
Installations, videos, clothes, and karaoke are all parts of the engrossing whole that makes up the cultural reminiscence that Lucky Me? consists of. Situated in the white and cold space of Kling & Bang in Marshallhús, and taking place in the darkest days of winter; the exhibition is warm, welcoming, and personal while still being true to one of its core messages of displacement, and mixed feelings of self-identity. The experience of the contrasting elements were inviting and thought-provoking simultaneously. Which left me with the feeling of political awareness of the multicultural reality that we inhabit today in a good way. That is, the cultural breadth of a society is a gift worth appreciating, within an artistic context as well as outside of it.
Embroidery lies at the heart of Icelandic artist Loji Höskuldsson’s visual art. He uses embroidery to highlight a particular Icelandic nostalgia: a yearning for summer.
His art is playful, sincere, and speaks to the viewer warmly. With a hint of imperfection, it has a relaxed tone with a touch of humor. In his practice, he manages to contrast the delicate and often tedious craft of embroidery to the transient nature of the summer days the embroidery symbolizes.
Having fun during the creative process is imperative for Höskuldsson. He enjoys what he does and has kept his mediums broad, from performance art and music to the still life he emphasizes in his work today.
We sat down and talked to Höskuldssons during a beautiful summer day, not dissimilar to the type he tries to capture in his art: