The Living Art Museum – Living Collection presents Reasons to Perform: Always, Always, Always: Look for the Answer, 2016. an exhibition by artists Maja Bekan and Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir.

Preview September 10th at 3 pm in Völvufell 13 – 21, 111 Reykjavík. Reasons to Perform will occupy the Living Collection until December 18th, 2016.

Dear reader

Please handle the content of this box with the utmost care, please keep the order of the content the same at all times.

If you encounter a VHS tape we ask you not to try to play it on any device. Instead you could examine it; look for handwriting, does it have a cover? stickers? from the see-through windows (check the top of the cover of the tape) try to determine how many minutes of the tape have been played.

If you encounter newspaper clippings please read them; from when is it, is it a photocopy or an original, what is on the news?

If you encounter something edible please eat it;

do you still taste it in your mouth?


This new work that Finnbogadóttir and Bekan are developing is based upon ongoing research and investigations into notions of time, appropriation, authorship and productivity.
For the exhibition in The Living Collection space, 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.

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

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 pertaining to performances have been added to the archive. The collection of this material takes place through a dialogue with the artist in question, with the aim of examining his/her work and career.

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.

Their collaboration has developed over several years, starting with the project Hotel New York in Rotterdam in 2006. The collaboration is mostly based on sharing time together, usually without sharing the same physical space. By working closely with each other on and off times, the two artists investigate and question the many ways collaboration can develop, often constrained in time and space.


Although their work tends to be very personal, thus creating associative streams of thoughts and ideas often shared with each other via emails, long Skype conversations, assignments for each other, (imagined) shared coffee breaks etc. and is often reactivated by a specific invitation, it deals with the universal “problem” of (lack of shared) time and its “capitalization” ((mis)use of social and personal time).

The collaboration has produced, among others, the mix media installation What if? at the Kunst Museum Kube in Aalesund, a contribution to the publication Archive on the Run, by the Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, the event Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitute, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook at the Van Abbemuseum, and the reading performance Finding Your Own North Star: How to Claim the Life You Were Meant to Live at the Hommes gallery, Rotterdam.

In the past year they have together:

Read 943 pages each, the same pages between them.

Talked about 18 exhibitions and the artists that made them.

Browsed through about 21 books and a few glossy magazines.

Sent seventy-seven photographs to each other.

Watched ten videos.

Ingested 13 bars of chocolate, by each of them.

Gone on one road trip together and two boat trips.

Had two long drinks, each (to make a toast) and many hours online.

The exhibition is supported by Icelandic Visual Arts Fund and Stroom, Den Haag.