EVA ISLEIFSDOTTIR & NOEMI NIEDERHAUSER
OPENING THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY 20:00-22:00
SECOND FLOOR, AGHIAS ZONIS 1, KYPSELI 11361, ATHENS
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION HURTS SO GOOD WHICH BRINGS TOGETHER WORKS MADE BY EVA ISLEIFSDOTTIR & NOEMI NIEDERHAUSER DURING THEIR TWO-MONTH RESIDENCIES AT SNEHTA DURING JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2015
Don’t care what they say, it hurts so good / I don’t wanna stop, I know I should / But let’s do it again… The Moullinex remix of Röyksopp & Robyn’s Do It Again is playing in the background. Spray paint is hissing out of its can and coating freshly-cut foam pieces, transforming them into sacred, gold, oversized leaves. A sewing machine whirrs as white fabric of various textures is morphed together into costumes for a later film, costumes in which feet will shuffle into place over concrete. One wall has sketched ideas for performances above a plaster dove without a beak; another has dozens of photocopies of actors in fantastical and abstract costumes, fabric samples and oranges dipped in resin. The studio is the place where the struggles of making are tricky but golden: to persevere with making is to tread the line between failed attempts and the potential breakthroughs that provide a tantalising compulsion to continue. It hurts so good…
If I were rich I would give you gold. The olive wreath: the symbol that defines victory. Originating from the customs of Ancient Greece, historically the olive wreath is associated with greatness, you´re the Number 1. In a series of photographs this symbol is positioned on top of Ísleifsdóttir as she lies face down in the street, weighed down by the burden of ideals, weighed down by the never ending search for perfection. Symbols from either side of the axis of eras: from ancient, religious and ritualistic to contemporary pop. By clashing iconic imagery from these opposite spectrums together in sculptural works, performances and actions, Ísleifsdóttir allows established meanings to emerge and intermingle.
Expressing personal visions of a society and questioning the norms and conventions of our everyday life. Distorting and re-calibrating human significance, trapped within a tragic plot, our home, our abyss, our mind. Within the world today, you think, what does it matter? What does anything really matter? Wow hang on there! I see that the persisting need for control is a prominent feature in the human behaviour. How order, rules and structure in the human psyche are necessary but simultaneously one of the most destructive elements we behold. Believing the eternal, sublime sensation of peace can be our protection: mirroring the dramatic short-seeings and becoming an optimist. Believing could simply be that you create space.
Slowly directing the gaze upward: balconies bursting with opulent green leaves appear. Tilting the gaze downward: tired street corners stand by. Washed out brown tainted mirrors, naked concrete, unburied ancient stones, forgotten concrete, wrapped scaffoldings, modernist concrete and back again to neoclassical’s thirst for marble. Strata piled up. Athens appears as a topsy-turvy dancer whirling languorously, awaiting the next thing to come.
Borrowing and appropriating this hybridity, the project initiated at Snehta Residency is infused with information from various time periods. Disparate historical or traditional references and everyday materials are translated into costumes and scenes which seem to have the inspiration of epic narratives, yet remaining fragments, fragile whispers and unstable prototypes. Embodying an altered aesthetic by wilfully reaching back to re-appropriate the past within the present, the project allows an in-between state to be found. By contrasting immobility with openness and fluidity, it interrogates the potential that those juxtapositions trigger.
Eva Ísleifsdóttir | Born 1982 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Lives & works in Reykjavík, Iceland. Studied MFA Sculpture at ECA, Edinburgh, Scotland (2010) and BA Fine Arts at The Art Academy of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland (2008). Since 2014 she has been working for the Living Art museum on the curatorial board and as the Collection Manager. Selected exhibitions include: 2014 Half an artist at the Union for Artists in Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland (solo); What do you think about the title “Nothing Lasts”?, London, UK; 2012 O Maria, o master at Hateigschurch in Reykjavík Iceland (solo). Recent festivals: 2013 The Anti Festival, Kuopio, Finland; Sequences Art Festival, Reykjavík, Iceland. Recent collaborations: 2015 WAIT, video screening as part of WADE in project, Mjóddin, Reykjavík, Iceland, with Eastern Edge Gallery; 2014 Exhibition of Lost artworks, Culture Center, Akranes with K.I.J.Hjördísardóttir & L. Bjarnason ; Staðir / Places, Art Festival, Westfjords, Iceland with Þ. Ólafsdóttir
Noemi Niederhauser | Born 1984 in Bern, Switzerland. Lives & works in London, UK. Studied MA Fine Art/ at Central Saint Martins, London, UK (2014) and BA Applied Art School of Vevey, Switzerland (2010). Selected exhibitions include 2015 Opening, Chabah Yelmani Gallery, Brussel, Belgium; V&A residency exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; 2014 ECC2014 New Talent, Bornholm, Denmark; Between the Acts, Swedenborg Hall, London, UK; 2013 Tomorrow I’ll be Elsewhere, curated with Sonja Vrkatic as part of the Royal Academy’s Friday Late, Royal Academy, London, UK; Vista Follies, Art Lacuna Gallery, London, UK; BE OPEN Sound Portal, Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, London, UK; FORMA Art contemporain, Lausanne, Switzerland; In Transit, V22 Bermondsey, London, UK; 2012 Show Your Colors, Espace Arlaud, Lausanne, Switzerland; ERROR Design Contest, Kornschütte, Lucerne, Switzerland; TALENTE 2012, Munich, Germany; 2011 Contemporary Ceramic exhibition, MUDAC: Museum of Contemporary Art, Lausanne, Switzerland; Accrochage Vaud 2011, MCBA: Fine Arts Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland.