PERFORMANCE | October 27, 2018 at Kópavogur Swimmingpool . EXHIBITION | October 25, 2018 - June 1, 2019 at Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum
Magnus Sigurdarson often departs from the idea that “The Cliche is the Ultimate Expression”. Using obvious and direct images he wants to transcends the visuality and enter the realm of emotions via the conceptual. He was born in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1966 and since 2005 he lives and works in Miami, Florida. He attended The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, Reykjavík, Iceland (1992, BFA in Mixed Media) and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey (1997, MFA). He is a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient with multiple grants and awards on his Resume. His works are included in the collections of; Collezione La Gaia, Busca, Italy, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, The Icelandic National Gallery and The Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland and, among others, in the private collections of Petur Arason, Reykjavík, Emmanuel Javouge, Dennis Scholl and Kathryn and Dan Mikesell, Miami and Jane and Don Savelson, New York.
REQUIEM FOR A WHALE
Performance-lecture at Kópavogur swimming pool
A continuation of Dances with Whales, performed at Cycle Music and Arts’ event Cryptopian States in Berlin (2018). The artist tells the tragic tale of the male orca Keiko (earlier Siggi and Kago; captured September, 1976). Keiko is most known for portraying Willy in the 1993 film Free Willy. In 1997, the artist traveled across America on pilgrimage to meet his fellow "Icelander" in Newport Oregon (on a quest to find the Holy Whale) in an attempt to find the missing bond between two mammals. Keiko travelled all over the world without swimming in the sea until he finally was released from captivity in 2002 outside the Icelandic Westman islands. The orca tragically died short thereafter in a Norwegian fjord in 2003.
Also at Kópavogur swimming pool: Icelandic Fan (2018), Occupy my Innocence (2012)
Magnús arrived at his emblem honestly. He often proclaims that his home country Iceland is the northern-most Caribbean island. He is not joking here (though there often is a joke, so pay attention): Iceland, along with the Caribbean Islands St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, were all once colonies of The Kingdom of Denmark. Not only did these islands have a distant sovereign in common, the Gulf Stream also connects them. The current draws warm water northward to the southern end of Iceland, making the southern end noticeably warmer.
The parrot makes its home in Miami (Magnús' home now), Iceland (his homeland) and the Caribbean (let's acknowledge that Miami feels like the northern Caribbean not the Southern United States). Magnús writes that: "One does not always understand the complexity of one's environment nor society in which one exists. For example, the iconic parrot, symbol of Florida sun and fun, is an immigrant, all native species of parrot were wiped out in the 1900's and the species that we now find in and associate with Miami and South Florida were all imported one way or another. Immigrants are the new mascot of Miami, the parrot searching for a home, the Icelander seeking melancholy, all species and immigrants at one point have to redefine their identity based on their current reality. While they will never be native, they will through time be blended into the pallet of their new home as the lines of identity are blurred, smudged, and redefined. This is the beginning of a post-melancholic identity through the power of myth and occasional mayhem."
The artist's endless effort to find melancholy parallels the endlessness of telenovela stories. Sigurðarson's melancholy project is defined by its failure, like a mathematical limit.
(Text by Tyler Emerson Dorsch)