January 29, 2017 - National Gallery of Iceland - Joan Jonas: Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012 / T E X T—Selected text-based works from the collection of Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir
January 29, 2017

National Gallery of Iceland

Top: Joan Jonas, Reanimation Detail 2010/2012 (still). Video. Courtesy the artist. Bottom: Lawrence Weiner, 2 MASSES OF MAGMA WHICH FAR FROM THE EDGE OF THE VENT FELL+2 MASSES OF MAGMA WHICH CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF THE VENT FELL PLACED SIDE BY SIDE WITH A MASS OF MAGMA WHICH INTO THE SEA FELL, 2008. © Lawrence Weiner/ARS New York.

Joan Jonas
Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012
October 26, 2016–February 26, 2017

T E X T—Selected text-based works from the collection of Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir
September 15, 2016–May 14, 2017

National Gallery of Iceland
Frikirkjuvegur 7
101 Reykjavik
Iceland
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +354 515 9600
list@listasafn.is

www.listasafn.is
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Joan Jonas
Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012
October 26, 2016–February 26, 2017

T E X T—Selected text-based works from the collection of Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir
September 15, 2016–May 14, 2017

National Gallery of Iceland
Frikirkjuvegur 7
101 Reykjavik
Iceland
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +354 515 9600
list@listasafn.is

www.listasafn.is
Facebook

Joan Jonas
Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012
Joan Jonas (b. 1936) is a pioneer of video and performance art and one of the most acclaimed working artists. She has had a profound impact on her contemporaries and her award-winning work has been the subject of several retrospectives at major art museums. Additionally, she is professor emerita at MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology). Joan Jonas represented the US at the Venice Biennale in 2015.

Joan Jonas came to Iceland in the 1980s. Her impressions of the visit inspired Volcano Saga, 1985—a video made with actress Tilda Swinton in the role of Gudrun Osvifursdottir. This close reference to Laxdaela Saga was a prelude to further works by Jonas based on Icelandic literature, both ancient and recent. Reanimation is rooted in her interpretation of Halldor Laxness' novel Under the Glacier.

Joan Jonas is among the first artists to use the video camera in her works. She discovered the new device on a journey to Japan in 1970 when the Portapak was in its prime. Prior to this, Jonas' worked in sculpture, took workshops in dance (with such choreographers as Trisha Brown and Yvonne Rainer) and created performances, which she staged with various kind of mirrors, used to divert and splinter the spectator‘s sense of perception. Despite the diversity of her work and variety of mediums, Jonas‘ core remains consistent. During a performance, the audience watches Jonas continuously activate the stage. She interacts with figures in her video projections or intermixes the projections with live drawings made on an overhead projector. She creates noise with bells, rustling paper or percussive instruments. The spectator stays busy, following the scenes as they intuitively flow into each other.

Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012, as in many other of Jonas‘ works, takes its cue from a mixture of literary sources and folk myths. Using direct passages and inspiration from Laxness‘ Under the Glacier, Jonas assumes the role of the rhapsode, who shows us that the resurrection, apparition and wraith are not as unnatural as we might expect but rather the reflection of the cycle of life. That Laxness should put focus on the extraordinary rising of bread in Eyrbyggja Saga is in Jonas‘ view a sign of the author‘s keen awareness of nature. She emphasizes his level of understanding by referring to the chapter on the bee and the dandelion, in which the dandelion scent attracts the insect and turns it into a carrier of spores, taking them beyond the horizon.

Joan Jonas´s works Reanimation Detail, 2010 / 2012 and Volcano Saga, 1985 are now shown for the first time in Iceland, at the National Gallery of Iceland and the Akureyri Art Museum and are a collaboration of the two art museums.

 

T E X T—Selected text-based works from the collection of Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir
The exhibition T E X T shows a selection of text-based art works by 50 Icelandic and international visual artists. The works all belong to the private art collection of Reykjavík and Berlin based collectors Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir, whose collection of contemporary art has reached over 1,000 works since the early 1960s until today.

On display here are works by many of the most important contemporary artists, most of which are friends and colleagues of Arason and Robertsdottir. Many of these connections have become ground for further encounters of Icelandic artists with their international colleagues and have played a major role in the dynamic art scene of Iceland.

Businessman Petur Arason and artist Ragna Robertsdottir operated the exhibition space Second Floor, together with artist Ingolfur Arnarsson, at their home in Reykjavik in 1992–97. There they invited many important international contemporary artists to show their art and then acquired many of their works. These acquisitions created the basis for their art collection.

Arason and Robertsdottir continued to collect contemporary art and in 2003 they opened SAFN: Contemporary Art Collection on three floors in the same building, which they operated in collaboration with the City of Reykjavik. SAFN was open to the public until 2008. There the couple presented a large part of their collection, as well as around fifty temporary exhibitions of Icelandic and international artists. In 2014 they opened two exhibition spaces titled SAFN; at Bergstadastraeti 52 in Reykjavík and Lewetzowstrasse 16 in Berlin, offering their guests in both locations to experience selected works from their collection.


Artists:
Birgir Andresson, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Thomas A. Clark, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Steingrimur Eyfjord, Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Hamish Fulton, Douglas Gordon, Franz Graf, Kristjan Gudmundsson, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Jon Laxdal, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Joseph Kosuth, Mark Lombardi, Richard Long, Max Neuhaus, Yoko Ono, Roman Opalka, Richard Prince, Karin Sander, Bjarni H. Thorarinsson, Ben Vautier, Ryszard Wasco, Lawrence Weiner

Curator: Birta Gudjonsdottir

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