Magnús Sigurðarson: OOPS! 2020
Magnús Sigurðarson (b. Reykjavík 1966) studied Renaissance art at Studio Cecil & Graves in Florence, Italy, 1987–88, studied at the Icelandic College of Arts & Crafts 1988–92, and received an MFA with a Fulbright Scholarship, from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 1997. Magnús has lived and worked on and off in The United States since 1994, first in New Brunswick, New Jersey, then Brooklyn, New York, but for the last 20 years in Miami, Florida. Magnús has made a name for himself in the art world with an array of peculiar multimedia works, actively exhibiting both nationally in Iceland, and internationally. Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami represents Magnús.
The public sphere has changed. What is an experience? Increasingly our experience of ´reality´ is a rendered one, like in the curated series of selfies that we post to the world as a rendering of our wonderful lifestyle. As we find ourselves increasingly insulated from actual experiences, like in the quarantine of COVID, we look to the artificial, the idealized, the rendered experience. In the end, not only is REALITY overrated, it doesn’t even make it onto the scale of our experience.
Art itself is increasingly based on the same alt-reality resources and materials that architects and engineers use to create a rendering of a building or neighborhood. In OOPS!, the artist clashes with rendered experience of art. Did the pipe break? Does it matter if the audience experienced it as art? Will the few faces out on the streets today even look up to see it? In OOPS!, the artist plays with the ideas of an idealized experience and the role that art plays in it. Is the whole thing an OOPS! or maybe the rendered accident will create a real experience for the viewer, whether it is the experience of an artwork, or a mild steam bath…
This autumn, Reykjavík Art Museum for the second time holds a group exhibition of new art in public spaces. The works of eight artists appear in a diverse and novel fashion around the city and in the communal spaces modern technology has to offer. This includes performances, interventions and various happenings which echo the communal space, the public domain, streets, squares and buildings which we share. Mostly, these works are created in intangible media; the Autumn Bulbs take root around the city and appear in unexpected circumstances. The subject matters of the eight participating artists vary but they all have in common that they illuminate or ask questions about the daily life of locals and visitors in the city. They revolve around the line between private and public space, ownership and freedom as well as getting people to stop, look around and gain a new perception of their environment. Inevitably, the works incorporate the societal changes which have taken place this year, regarding daily interaction and habits in epidemic times. Some of the works will only be performed once but others have a longer or more frequent existence. The programme can be found in an accompanying catalogue, on the museum’s social media and its activity calendar.