STARA - 16.04.2015, Blaðsíða 56

STARA - 16.04.2015, Blaðsíða 56
S T A R A n o .3 1 .T B L 2 0 15 56 You cannot view the founding of SÍM without mentioning the Interest Organisation of Visual Artists (Hagsmunafélag myndlistamanna, or HM), which is all but forgotten today and the younger generation maybe never knew existed. HM was founded because most of the young progressive artists had been denied access to the Society of Icelandic Artists (Félag íslen- skra myndlistarmanna or FÍM). The main reason was they did not practice the type of art deemed acceptable to other members. It may strike people as strange now but the social structure at the time was completely different and our country was fairly isolated from the rest of the world with regard to visual arts as well as other types of art. Young artists stayed abreast though and both explored and discov- ered within themselves fresh currents which coursed through the Western world. A lot of bickering would ensue, concerning ideology and movements, and after years of conflict a group of those “outsiders” decided to try to unite and utilize their strength in building a better art environment in this country. Thus the Interest Organisation of Visual Artists was formed in order to provide shelter for “exiled” artists and unite all the groups under one roof. A clause in the statute stated that once an um- brella organization was formed HM would be disbanded. I was asked to take over as chairman of the HM board just after I finished studying in the Netherlands in spring 1982. At the time Richard Valtingojer had been chairman since its inception. He had done great work and wanted to step aside. I thought long and hard but in the end relented and was voted chairman at an annual meeting. With me on the board were, among others, Gylfi Gíslason and Guðrún Erla Geirsdóttir (Gerla). We agreed to focus on one goal exclusively: To unify all the visual artist groups in the country. We contacted all the chairmen of the other groups and quickly The origin of SÍM Today it seems as if SÍM has always existed and the great strife between artists about trends and movements nev- er existed in Iceland. It is therefore in order to recollect the origins of The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) which was founded just over 30 years ago. It is a long time in a person’s life but not at all on art´s calen- dar. During these ruminations I will give an overview of the history and origin of SÍM, which f lourishes now more than ever. Þór Elís Pálsson
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