busy learning Icelandic and making a show

I have not been posting due to my overwhelming need to learn Icelandic. In addition, I have been preparing for a show about the identity of the city of Reykjavik. It involves 9 artists showing work in a few mediums about the status of Reykjavik before and after the fall of the economy.

As for learning Icelandic, it has been a struggle. I finally enrolled at the University of Iceland, where I have to show my face four times a week, sometimes as early as 8:20 in the morning to listen to teachers ramble on in Icelandic. I can only follow if I am awake, excited and totally focused. This is quite a challenge. Besides Icelandic being a very difficult language, it has been exciting to learn how the Icelandic culture comes through in the language. I have been told that the language contains far fewer words than English and that tonation and expression are used more to state ones meaning. I have yet to get to the level where I can have a feel for this. The difficult thing about this language is that every time you learn a new vocabulary word, you have to learn the same word in its 12-48 forms. This is no easy feat considering all of the exceptions to the rules. Furthermore, you have to understand when and why to use the various forms of each word.

Here is a picture of the school I am attending. Keep in mind, when I arrive there at 8am, it is totally dark!


So, anyway, besides learning Icelandic, I have been working on a show I conceptualized to present at the Nordic House. If you are following my work, you might know that I have been making work about Iceland and the city of Reykjavik’s identity. I was awarded funding from the American Scandinavian Foundation to come here and photograph this idea as I saw fit. I soon learned that I was not the only artist who saw this theme as something to focus on in their art. So, given that there was going to be and is going to be a conference on City Planning, I figured it would be a good time for an art show around this theme. The Nordic House has gladly and generously sponsered my idea to create this show.

I am calling it Ipseity – Abeyance. These are words I found that seemed approprite to the themes in te show. Here are the dictionary entries and Icelandic equivalent words.
Main Entry: abeyance > Biðstaða
Part of Speech: noun
Definition : temporary inactivity

Main Entry: ipseity > Einstaklingseðli
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: Selfhood; individual identity, individuality

And here are the artists I have chosen:

composer Nico Muhly

painter Alexander Zaklynsky

photographer Guðmundur Ingólfsson

artists Erla Haraldsdóttir and Bo Melin

photographer Ingvar Högni Ragnarsson

photographer Julia Staples

photographer Pétur Thomsen

sculptur Will Schlough (no website, youll have to come to the show)

Opening Friday February 13th, 19:30 at the Nordic House in conjunction with Vetrarhátíð.

Closing reception on Friday February 27th at 19:00 until 23:00 with Swedish Performer: Malin Ståhl.


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