Archive for September, 2016

Reasons to Perform: Open Box

Sep 15 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Open Box
Each Friday between 10. Sept. – 18. Dec.

Calling all artists, Nýló members, collectors and friends!

The Living Art Museum in collaboration with Maja Bekan and Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir in Reasons to Perform: Always, Always, Always: Look for the Answer would like to invite artists, Nýló members, collectors and friends to assist us in opening up the Nýló Performance Archive boxes and contributing to collecting more material.

Over the duration of the exhibition the museum welcomes new contributions of archival material in the form of photographs, documentation and material and information from performances already archived at the museum, as well as new contributions. This will be possible each Friday throughout the exhibition period between 13:00 – 16:00, or by appointment with Collection Manager Becky Forsythe at

Proposals for new performances for the archive will be taken into consideration by the board of the museum.

The Performance Archive was initiated in early 2008, when Nýló began archiving performance documentation and material relating to artist performances. Previously, the museum collection had included documentation of 20 performance works dating from 1978-1981.

Gradually, various forms of documentation relating to performances have been added to the archive. The collection of this material is done so through a dialogue with the artist in question, with the aim of examining his/her work and career and considerations that support the preservation and specificity of individual performances.

The aim of the archive is to preserve documentation of performance and performance-related works, and to establish

Nýló is the central museum for performance in Iceland, as it has throughout its history been one of the main local venues for such work.

Reasons to Perform will occupy the Living Collection space until 10. December, where artists Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir and Maja Bekan create a mix-media installation comprised of: site-specific space intervention, performance and text work with the aim of exploring and questioning the archive of the living art (museum) and documentation as a form of possibility.This new work developed by Finnbogadóttir and Bekan is based upon ongoing research and investigations into notions of time, appropriation, authorship and productivity.

Minutes of measurements, disturbance, rhythm and movement will be introduced into Nýló’s archive collection and performed by the museum staff and visitors during the opening hours of the exhibition.

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The Living Art Museum receives a large selection of material from the studio of artist Ólafur Lárusson (1951 – 2014)

Sep 10 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Family of the late Ólafur Lárusson, have gifted the Living Art Museum a large portion of material, spanning two decades from around 1970 – 1990, gathered from Ólafur´s art studio. Amongst this donation is part of the artist´s personal library, his film collection, negatives, slides, photographs, sketches, VHS recordings performance documentation, exhibition catalogues and invitations, artistic research and experimentation, as well as proposals for works in the form of drawings, snapshots and conceptualizations that had never been fully realized.

The Living Art Museum will move their exhibition space to the newly renovated Marshall House in Grandi, alongside Kling and Bang Gallery and Ólafur Elíasson. The new space in the harbour will open with a retrospective exhibition echoing Ólafur´s practice and contribution as one from the young and radical generation of contemporary artists who surfaced during the seventies.

The exhibition will include documentation of his performance work and other substantial material that had not been shared with the public eye during his lifetime and pull together works from The National Gallery of Iceland and Reykjavík Art Museum, along with those in private collection from friends, family, and collectors.

Curators Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir, Director of the Living Art Museum and Collection Manager Becky Forsythe have titled the exhibition Rolling Line, the namesake to a photographic work Ólafur completed in 1975. The artist himself is seen somersaulting through nature within Rolling Line, and the work references the possibility of a continuous line always ending in a circle. This reflection is well related to the core of the exhibition, which aims to shed new light on the process and period of the artist, from 1971 when he started as a student in The Icelandic College of Art and Craft, until the early eighties when Ólafur began to turn away from one of his main mediums, the photograph.

Ólafur Lárusson was born in 1951 and raised in Austur-Meðalholtum, South Iceland and in Hlíðar – 105 Reykjavík. He studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Craft, now Iceland Academy of the Arts, from 1971-74 and subsequently in Haarlem, Holland, where he graduated from Atalier ´63 in 1976. Ólafur was an extremely prolific and productive artist during the seventies and played a key role in shaping the priorities of the icelandic art scene at that time. He was amongst the last artists to be accepted into the SÚM Gallery movement, a founding member of the Living Art Museum, and the first indications of the museum were stored in his studio on Mjölnisholt prior to when the board of Nýló received the facilities at Vatnsstígur 3b in 1980.

The gift from Ólafur´s studio, marks a turning point for Nýló and is also an important addition to art history. The archive is the first of its kind to be accepted by the museum, where light is cast upon the life and practice of the artist in such a way. With the family´s donation, video documentation from Ólafur´s Rainbow performance – which was performed in SÚM Gallery in 1978 and had been lost for many years, has now surfaced. The recording shows the artist breaking hanging glass plates that have been painted the colours of the rainbow, with his head – the broken glass swinging back and forth alongside it.

This contribution also strengthens Nýló´s research into collecting, preserving and archiving performance art, and underlines the immeasurable value of the insight provided through otherwise unseen material gathered over time in the artist´s studio; conceptual-work, the process and evolution of artworks, and specific focuses, streams and remains of certain periods.

Ólafur passed away on December 4th, 2014. On 10th September he would have celebrated his 65th birthday and the museum would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge his contribution to shaping the scene of Icelandic art. To friends and family and Óli – happy birthday!

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Núllið new home to the Icelandic Punk Museum

Sep 09 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

The Living Art Museum would like to wish the new tenants of Núllið, Bankastræti 0, Guðfinnur Sölvi Karlsson, Dr. Gunni, Axel Hallkell Jóhannesson and Þórdís Claessen, administrators of the Icelandic Punk Museum, congratulations with the new space.

The group is now working on the first exhibition that will coincide with the opening of the 2016 Icelandic Airwaves festival. The exhibition intends to trace the history of punk in Iceland and the spirit of the movement through objects and photographs.

According to the foursome the space is not too small and is very well suited to host the exhibition. The museum is a tribute to the punk scene, which has, in their opinion, provided the foundation for the success of Icelandic music.

The Living Art Museum received the keys to the female lavatories at Bankastræti 0 at the year end of 2014 and then began the transformation into an exhibition space in collaboration with the architectural firm kurtogpi. Architect Helgi Sigurðsson designed the lavatories, which were formally opened on the National Holiday, June 17th in 1930. The operations underground were reduced considerably at the turn of the century and the facility was finally closed in the year 2006.

The city of Reykjavík had a large interest in restoring the operations in the space underground, but with a different purpose. The city reached out to the board of the Living Art Museum and invited the museum to take over the space rent-free for a year to install exhibitions underground, with the hope of reviving the space once again.

The lavatories are preserved under the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, which proved to be a considerable challenge for architects Ásmund Hrafn Sturluson and Steinþór Kára Kárason, in working with the preexisting structure, while addressing the new role of the space.

The Living Art Museum´s first exhibition in Núllið opened prior to the completion of the renovations, at Sequences VII Art Festival in April 2015. The construction in the space was completed later during the summer, when the museum´s exhibition programming was continued.

The museum´s exhibitions and events underground were:
Being Boring / Curators Gareth Bell-Jones & Gemma LloydJohn Baldessari, Phil Coy, Lucy Clout, Emma Hart, William Hunt, Sam Porritt and Peter Wächtler

prik/ strik – Kristín Rúnarsdóttir

Nothing Really Matters (except me) Simon Buckley

Coming Soon / Brynjar Helgason, Ívar Glói Gunnarsson, Logi Leó Gunnarsson and Una Björg Magnúsdóttir.

The apparent impossibility of zero / Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson / Sequences VII

Other events included the opening release of Dulkápan or Hidden Covers on Design March, which occupied the space, offering a varied event programme alongside the exhibition.

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  • Iceland

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