Sigurdur Gudmundsson — Petite rétro
Past: March 24 → May 19, 2012
The photographic works of Sigurdur Gudmundsson have a timeless actuality. They make fundamental statements about the human condition, and contain what survivors call humor.
The works in this exhibition are photographies, videos and objects from 1970 until 2011.
Every day is a series of situations, moments truly relating to objects and people, even to Nature itself, in which we suddenly find ourselves — sometimes by chance, but often as a result of forces beyond our control. Every new situation requires a decision allowing us to go in our lives, and each decision sets up a new situation in which we are constantly, endlessly trying to regain balance and control. To intentionally put oneself in a situation without understanding the potential implications or consequences is therefore to challenge one’s very existence.
This is precisely what Sigurdur Gudmundsson does in his photographic work. Some of is it staged: “Situations” illustrate philosophical or artistic statements, but most of them are intuitive and not just visualizations of verbal expressions. Some are picture puzzles,as in Magritte’s paintings, others are quotations from Saussure, Ecco or another structuralist…but they are never imposing, never single-minded, always open-ended, convincing the viewer that there is more than just one answer, more than just one solution…Above all, these works are children of their time, an integrated part of European conceptual art. Together they create a handbook, a manual on “how to put yourself in a situation without knowing how to get out of it”. That is why it is all about what happens when all is said and done, about taking risks, about an artist’s view of life.
Sigurdur Gudmundsson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1942. In 1963 he moved to Amsterdam where he was based for twenty years or so. Since 1992 he has lived in Reykjavík, Lisbon, Berlin, New York and Sweden, and now for the past 15 years in Xiamen China. Best known for his photo works and performances, he also works in sculptures and videos. He is a novelist and two of his novels have been nominated for the National Price of Literature in Iceland.
Opening Saturday, March 24, 2012 3 PM → 8:30 PM At the opening he will perform the performance YES.