Ilmur Stefánsdóttir: Panik
There is chaos and panic in Gallery A at Hafnarhús. The structure shakes from the strenuous efforts of a woman which serve no obvious purpose. She runs, jumps, cycles and uses various strange devices to create movement for movement´s sake. It appears that the exhibition hall may collapse. The question is whether the woman´s struggles can prevent that from happening, or whether they will be the reason for its downfall.
The artist behind Panik, the installation, is Ilmur Stefánsdóttir. Ilmur has blazed new trails in her art, and frequently connected performances with items or vehicles of her own making, which she uses herself or invites guest to try out. This exhibition brings the devices and machinery close through video art which seems to be intertwined with the hall´s structure; in the ventilation system, inside the pillars and in piles of salt, spread all over the hall. The woman never stops. The mutation of things as well as human behaviour are themes close to Ilmur´s heart. Here she transforms the space which may represent the art world or other systems of the society, and invites the audience to identify themselves with the female´s relentless struggle.
Ilmur Stefánsdóttir works equally as an artist or set designer. She graduated from The College of Arts and Crafts in Iceland 1995 and finished her Master’s Degree in Visual Arts at Goldsmiths College London 2000. She has exhibited both in Iceland and abroad and been an active performance artist in Iceland and abroad. She has worked as a costume and set designer in both The City and National Theatre in Iceland. She is one of the founders of CommonNonsense, who produced Hugleikur Dagsson´s “Avoid us” and “Abortion the musical”, the domestic circus “Falling in love with my Kitchen-Aid”, the documentary play ”My Mother-in-Law”, and the bus performance Routeopia. The Reykjavík Art Museum, The National Gallery of Iceland and Hafnarborg all own work by Ilmur.