Guided tour: Knowing the Ropes
Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Þuríður Rós Sigurþórsdóttir and Theresa Himmer talk about their project Knowing the Ropes in Hafnarhús.
Knowing the Ropes is an ongoing, collaborative exhibition project located at the intersection of architecture, art and design. The ancient craft of ropemaking is the project's starting point. The craft is mobilized to investigate interdisciplinary boundaries and the structure of the rope within a contemporary Nordic framework.
The material- and conceptual foundation of Knowing the Ropes centers around two rope-production facilities: Hampiðjan in Reykjavik, Iceland and Aarhus Possementfabrik in Denmark. Both have been operating since the early 20th century, producing ropes in related ways, but for two vastly different worlds: The Drawing Room and the Sea. These two worlds overlap through various experiments and works as different purposes and techniques of the rope are placed center-stage.
This research, especially the project, began in 2017 when Brynhildur, Þuríður and Theresa received a grant from the Nordic Culture Fund. Based between New York, Reykjavík and Copenhagen, they developed the project around 1-2 meetings a year, and regular online exchanges of sketches, thoughts and research material. This set-up allowed the project to develop at a slow pace with multiple iterations of each idea and research into possible connections between the sea, the home-as-stage and the premodern, victorian interior.
Parts of this research, especially focused on devices of spatial and social demarcation, gained new meaning as the world closed down last year with distance regulations to follow.
As the world closed down last year, some of these elements belonging to the past, like room dividers, screens and various other devices for socio-spatial demarcation, suddenly gained new relevance. The result Knowing the Ropes manifests in works ranging from material experiments and film, to texts and rope-related objects for the home.
Brynhildur Pálsdóttir is a designer based in Reykjavik. She graduated from Iceand University of the Arts in 2004 and from Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2005. Interdiciplinary collaboration and local production is at the center of her practice. She has co-initiated multiple acclaimed projects including Vík Prjónsdóttir, In Search of Porcelain and Chocolate Mountains. Brynhildur´s works and projects have been exhibited and published widely in international magazines and books on contemporary design.
Þuríður Rós Sigurþórsdóttir has practiced as a designer and a visual artist since she graduated from Central Saint Martins College, London in 2000 and School of Visual Art in New York in 2008. She is a founding member of Vík Prjónsdóttir which has received several recognitions, grants and appeared in multiple publications. Þuríður´s work, as both a designer and an artist, has been shown in multiple galleries and museums in Iceland, New York and beyond.
Theresa Himmer is a graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study program, received her M.F.A. from School of Visual Arts, New York and her M.Arch. from Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions and as solo projects internationally and within the urban fabric of Reykjavik, London, Mexico City and Perm, Russia. She has received grants from The Danish Arts Foundation, Icelandic art foundation and The American-Scandinavian Foundation among others.