D8 Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir
Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir (b. 1972) has presented video works, performances, and installations, often roughly wrought from raw materials. The open-ended allusions of her work invite the viewer’s interpretation on man, his environment, and his norms. For the present work, Cultus Bestiae / The Beast, Worshipped, Gunnhildur uses a film sequence which she took of show horses in Germany. She captures a connection between horse and rider that is characterized by powerful incongruities between chiseled will and brute proximity. The viewer feels the beast’s bodily proximity through close-ups of whiskery upper lips, or becomes absorbed in a dreamy vision of graceful steeds in dynamic leap. The majesty of the beast and the inherent contradictions of refinement and brute behavior, power and grace, freedom and submission, softness and force, turn one’s thoughts to the horse’s role as a symbol of physical power, often sexual power, in human dreams.
Gunnhildur graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001 and pursued graduate studies in visual art at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam from 2002 to 2005. She is a member of the international Dieter Roth Academy and in recent years has worked in Berlin.