Saturday, 18 September 2010

Nordic House Project in the Wetlands

The group is invited to create work around and about the surrounding eco system of the Nordic House in Reykjavik.
In the front yard of the Nordic House and the Icelandic University you will find a natural reserve aimed to foster the bird variety in Reykjavík. The Nordic House, The University of Iceland, and Reykjavik city are gathering forces to improve the area. Research shows that diversity in the area is declining; competitive plants are threatening the flora, birds are decreasing and contamination is found in the water. The marsh of the preserved land has also diminished and in the northeastern part of it, the soil has almost dried. Experts have pointed out that with the help of some relatively simple improvements, the marsh could do its work even better as a sanctuary for birds, water species and herbs.
The goal is to improve habitat conservation and variety and restore the wetland in the reserve. The
increased attention to the area will hopefully increase awareness of the ecological importance of wetlands.

The goals of the improvements are to:
To maintain and to restore biodiversity and ecosystem functions
Make a safe place for birds to hatch and nest
Remove invasive plants.
Make a life research facility for students of the University.
Increase interest and knowledge about the ecological importance of wetlands.
Make the area an exemplary for the recovery of wetlands.

We intend to work on site specific art works where the project in the wetlands, the problems they face
and/or causes will be addressed by each individual artist resulting in a dialogue with the space, the area
and hopefully raise questions for the viewer to respond to.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Thora Gunnarsdottir

My work for Draakon Gallerii in Tallinn, Estonia is called "Waiting for a Chinook". It is inspired by a weather phenomena when a sudden gust of wind rushes down a steep mountain and subsequently warms drastically.

Thora Gunnarsdottir´s works evolve around physical and psychological questions regarding the individual and one’s environment and the constant negotiations between the two. She is deeply interested in cultural heritage and how it influences us in everyday life. Most recently she has been investigating the influence nature has on the individual through her own fascination with the ‘Magpie’ bird.
Through interviews, sounds, drawings, photographs, events and expeditions, she attempts to address the influences our heritage, ancestors and social environment have on our decision-making and reactions to our immediate surroundings.
"My works are explorations. In them I explore the individual and his interactions with his environment. Sometimes these factors are very visible and defined but most of our interactions are unconscious reactions based on adaptability and adjustment. The thin line between our environment and us is a constant process of negotiations."
We evaluate situations and act accordingly. Our self-image is born. In her work she explores the making of an image. What are the factors needed to make an image? How much is based on choices and how much is based on unconcious reactions to stereotyping?
We all carry a baggage that is our past. Though our connections with our ancestors, upbringing and culture we are nurtured, developed and shaped. Exploring this in action has been of special interest to her. She uses various methods of explorations that have resulted in cartographical experiments and extensive researches.

Thora´s websites are: and

Thora Gunnarsdottir graduated with a BA from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2005 and a MFA from Valand School of Fine Arts in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2007.  She has lived and worked in Gothenburg, Marseille and currently in Reykjavik.             
She has shown internationally both in solo and group shows and is currently working on a project for Reykjavik Artfest 2008 both as a curator and exhibitor. Her most recent solo show was Precarious Ringroad if you were an animal which animal would you be and why? at the Mobile Box gallery in Gothenburg as a part of the 2007 Gothenburg Biennial and Reykjavik Artfest in 2008.

Please see CV in comments below.

Nina Lassila

Coffee, Tea or Dinosaurpee...

new video work for Slippery Terrain at the Nordic House May 7th - May 29th  2011

video, 4.32min 2011


A voice over is describing the work of an artist while she is trying to create a topic specific artwork for an exhibition. The topic is endangered wetlands, human versus Nature.

During the process the artist is feeling both artistic and sexual frustration and has difficulties in channeling her work in a satisfying  direction.

She keeps referring to Nature and sex. Back and forth. She finds connections that at first glance seem far fetched - natural wetlands, marshlands and female genitalia. Somewhere the myth of the water spirit sneaks in. Topped with Japanese cars and famous paintings.

In the end she finds a closure, where the circle closes and everything seems connected.

In my work I often combine different works, I make connections and use parts of texts that I write on daily basis. I often ponder with the question "what is important" - and this pondering mostly leads to a immense feeling of frustration. And the only way of getting rid of this feeling is allowing myself to act out the feeling. These moments often result in video performances, photographs and texts. 

For the exhibition Slippery Terrain in the Nordic House I have created 2 new pieces, 1 photograph and 1 video. 
Both works are connected to each other. Both of them incapsulate a perhaps subtle wish of a better world. 

The Protagonist at Slippery Terrain Draakon Gallery Tallinn EST

     Experiment 2:10 Paris 2009   

        The Great Lake, video 07.14min  2010


           Drilljob video 2011

Nina Lassila is a visual artist working mainly with video and photography. She was born 1974 in Helsinki Finland but lives and works in Gothenburg SE/ Berlin since 2003.
In many of her works she deals with questions of identity – specifically identity affected by social barriers, conventions based on gender and upbringing and cultural differences. The field of her interest spans from cultural & political issues to paranormal science. 

Nina Lassila:
Education: School of Photography & film 2000-2002, Valand School of Fine Arts (MFA) 2004-2006, Guest at ENSAD Paris 2009

Groupshows, festivals: 

2007 700IS Iceland, Directors Lounge Berlin, Rencontres Internationales 07/08 Paris/Berlin/Madrid 2008  Reykjavik Arts Festival, Twilight Suite at Louise T.Blouin Institute London, EMAA"Art is in Lefkosa" Cyprus, Deviant Art Festival Trollhättan SE 2009 Slippery Terrain, Eastern Edge Gallery St Johns (NFL) Canada , Proyección Festival  Barcelona, Amiens international Film Festival France, Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival Germany, Polyforme Performance Festival  Marseilles, PLATFORMA VIDEO9 Athens  2010  Survival Kit Riga Latvia, Reality Check TSSK Trondheim NO,,XV Art Fair Mänttä FIN, Screen Realities IG Bildende Kunst Vienna AUT, Blanche-Neige Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Performance Stammtisch Berlin, Cartes Flux Espoo FiN, Slippery Terrain at Draakon Gallery Tallinn EST, Screening at Riff Raff Tel Aviv, Cartes Flux Festival of New Media, Kassel Documentary & Film & Video festival DE, Nordic Art Express Oslo, 2011:  Strike at Atelierhof Kreuzberg Berlin, Gothenburg FIlm Festival SE, "A room of ones own" Galerie Christophe Gaillard Paris, Nordic Art Express -  Nordic Video Art on tour, "In der Not frisst der Teufel Fliege" Kunsthalle M3 Berlin

2008 "Nainen Työssä - woman at Work" Gallery Sinne Helsinki FI, 2008 "Nainen Työssä - woman at Work" Formverk Eskilstuna SE, 2004 Good Boys at Draakon Gallery Tallinn EST

coming up: 

2011: Slippery Terrain at Nordic House Reykjavik IS, NYT2011 Harkko Museum Raisio, Nordic Art Express -  Nordic Video Art on tour, Screening Beaconsfield London UK
Pépinières Européennes Pour Jeunes Artistes Residency Paris  2009, Nifca, Nordic Air : Tallinn Estonia  2004, AtelierHaus Mengerzeile Berlin 2011


Johanna Willenfelt

Johanna Willenfelt´s drawings and installations represent an intertwining of autobiography, authenticity and fiction. By turns of approaching and distancing herself from her own personal story of pain, she seeks to illuminate the contradictory conditions concerned with the prevalent mode of speaking about and representing the physical pain of oneself and others. 
Johanna Willenfelt studied for a Master´s degree in Fine Art at Valand School of Fine Arts, Gothenburg, 2004-2010. She is involved in different artistic activities such as illustration and writing. She contributes regularly to Antennae Magazine, The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture and exhibited individually last in the autumn of 2010 with the exhibition My painting carries with it the message of pain at the county hospital Ryhov for Landstinget Kultur, Jönköping.

Juliana España Keller

VIdeo Stills from the video work: Mother Nature and The Tuning of the World - Juliana España Keller 2011

  PERFORMANCE OPENING NIGHT:  Bird Song: An Ode to Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist art movements,
challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions such as dubbing a urinal or ‘ready-made’ and naming it ‘Fountain’. Therefore, he insisted that the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.

The performance work, ‘Bird Song: An Ode to Marcel Duchamp’ is a conceptual strategy to remove the artist from a high-art practice and distance herself from commodity culture to concentrate on creating an intervention in the landscape. It is arguable that the art market always finds ways to incorporate the activities of those dematerializing the art object within existing institutions and structures but Juliana hopes that by creating an outdoor exhibition in solidarity with the natural environment, greatly extends an allied interest in ecology and green politics.

To add to this discourse, ‘Bird Song: An Ode to Marcel Duchamp’ is a subversive act to attract the colony of birds and wild life that live in the wetlands to the staging of an outdoor art exhibition of Icelandic Art of a cross-disciplinary nature….
Laminated images taken from the internet and constructed as sign posts will be staked around the wetlands area surrounding the Nordic House.  They symbolically represent a small selection of well-established Icelandic Artists who have left their historic stamp in the Icelandic art world and at large, whether it be through Painting, Music, Theatre, Sculpture, Photography or Film and Television, etc. 
Juliana’s performance incorporates the installation of this outdoor intervention as an art exhibition for the wildlife of the wetlands. She  invites the viewer to the ‘vernissage’  alongside with the wetlands wildlife who will be served trails of bird seed distributed along the path so as to observe each artist posted along the trail.


Juliana is a British visual artist who was born in London, England of Spanish and English descent and emigrated to Jersey City, NJ, US as a teenager. She spent her formative years in and around New York attitude, her thirties living in the jungle of Ciudad Guyana, Venezuela and is now a passionate 'Mile Ender' living in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Juliana has presented her installations, photography and performance work in many international venues abroad in Europe, South America and the USA and she is currently a Part-Time Faculty member of the Painting and Drawing Department of the Studio Arts Program of Concordia University. 

Her obsession with the people and landscape of Iceland is profound and occupies her mind and artistic practice..  She has been to Iceland several times as part of The International Residency program through the support of the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) in Reykjavik

Juliana is also a part of two performance collectives:
WWKA [Women with Kitchen Appliances] and B.E. Canada.       

Diana Storåsen

Diana Storåsen  works with the self portrait and memories in form of photographs and creating performances. Memories are like coloured emotions. They paint images of the past. Diana is also interested in our experiences of
Nature - can Nature show us sides of ourselves that we don't want to see? Diana attempts to make a physical interpretation of  nature. Is humans a part of nature or is nature a part of you?

Diana Storåsen graduated with BA from Iceland Art School in 1998 and has taken courses in photography and design in Gothenburg, Sweden since her graduation. She has participated in many exhibitions mainly in the Nordic countries.

Elin Anna Þórisdóttir

"Oh, Balls!" cried the Queen.
"If I had 'em, I'd be King."
The Night of the King's Castration

In the up coming exhibition (November 2010) Slippery Terrain at Draakon Gallery in Tallinn EST, Elín will show a photograph, video, paintings and a sculpture.

"When the cremasteric muscle contracts, the cord is shortened and the testicle is moved closer up toward the body, which provides slightly more warmth to maintain optimal testicular temperature. When cooling is required, the cremasteric muscle relaxes and the testicle is lowered away from the warm body and is able to cool.  This also occurs in response to stress (the testicles rise up toward the body in an effort to protect them in a fight)."
(Text from Wikipedia)

Elín Anna uses her body to improvise in the icelandic nature with home made testicles attached. Her works depict an athmosphere of physical desire and ritual pose but not in a stereotypical way. With balls attached and standing in a graceful posture the typical gender image is being mixed up. Here the female is not the inferior gender or a receptive object of the male penetration. In this way Elín explores gender identity and possibilities of physical expression. All without words.

The sky-blue balls have cooled down and are ready to dance

Elin Anna Þórisdóttir

Performance in the Mobile Box, Reykjavík 2008

In her works, Thorisdottir seeks to challenge herself and the viewer with demanding questions loaded with humor. She wonders about the connection between art and its surroundings, process and purpose. Her works have often been designed to break out of the restraint of the gallery. In the Mobile Box Thorisdottir thought of her body as a space or a living sculpture.  In this restricted posture she gave the viewer an opportunity to walk all over her in an attempt to free art from its form and become an informal, temporary gesture.

Painting 60x80 cm. 2010

Still from the video Penetraraiting my Idol. 2009
The parents of the artist braid her hair in the stile
of Pippi Longstockings