STARA - 16.04.2015, Blaðsíða 44

STARA - 16.04.2015, Blaðsíða 44
S T A R A n o .3 1 .T B L 2 0 15 44 Do you feel that the residency and/or Iceland is affecting your work? It always does. The residency is such an in- teresting time since you always meet such an amazing kaleidoscope of creative talent com- ing from all walks of life, and from all over the world. The dialogue is incredible. As for my work, I am always influenced by the investigations I make into the natural land- scape, whether they are documented in some way or another. Each manifestation of a few elements triggers so many impulsive ideas that are sometimes primordial, and sometimes so abstract. I never feel these kind of conceptual ideas come to me when I am back in Montreal. I collect things, I sing things. I breathe. I write. I draw. I nourish myself with things from the Icelandic soil. I always, always, go fishing and bring back fresh-caught fish to the communal kitchen for everyone to eat. In returning to Iceland to see my friends and revisit SÍM, it feels good, authentic, and now a second home. I try to speak Icelandic and laugh at myself because I feel like I understand. I have a special bond to some families here who have opened up their home to me and I have learned so much about the Icelandic cultural identity in the process. I make art that I am proud of... it feels authentic. During your stay in Iceland, did you see any exhibitions that affected you? I remember seeing Gabríela Friðriksdóttir’s videos for the first time and I was blown away. I love Icelandic abstraction, whether it be drawing or painting, textile or music. It feels like it comes from the spirit of nature in a very molecular way. It is an essence that is hard to describe unless you come here and breathe the air and let it get inside of you. During your stay, have you made any new con- nections you might benefit from? I have met many Icelandic artists and they are very curious about what is happening outside of Iceland. Of course, I have some very close friends who are dear to me in Reykjavík and I will be in touch with them for life. The SÍM residency has always made me feel so welcome whenever I feel the need to return and create, and I am still in touch with so many in- ternational artists that I have met in Iceland at the residency since 2009. I am hoping one day to come and share my knowledge as an educa- tor and visual artist at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts since I teach in the area of Intermedia and Cyber Arts. Many of my activities in sound and perfor- mance art in particular, and in my open mate- rial practice, feed off each other and I realize the need to translate, transform, and investigate how they overlap: critically, collaboratively, and strategically. I would love to engage with Icelandic students and the art community at large in order to share this methodology. Was there anything about the Icelandic art scene that surprised you? I felt the Icelandic art community to be a tight- knit group of members linked by a very short modernist history and unique language stem- ming from nature and weather patterns that has developed over the years stylistically and formally. In the discipline of music, they are astound- ing…it feels a little like the local Indie musical community here in Montreal, e.g. Arcade Fire. It is tight-knit and Avantgarde and so constant- ly evolving. I learned a lot about the history of Icelandic formalism by seeing this language developed through the permanent collection of paintings I have seen at the National Gallery and such. Icelandic artists feed off each other intellectually and visually and there are many interesting spaces and festivals available to develop their projects. It is, however, not easy for a foreigner to get into the academic or professional gallery circuit without being Icelandic. I do hope that changes. I have been very lucky since I have had the opportunity to work in group projects that Icelandic artists have invited me to. Also, it would be great to have an opportunity to come and teach as a Visiting Artist to the Icelandic Academy in order to share new knowledge around new media culture and electronic arts. I feel that this would be a really interesting exchange for international artists.
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