Artist of the Year 2018: Sigurður Guðjónsson

Sigurður Guðjónsson (b. 1975) was named The Artist of the Year for his incredibly powerful and consistent installation Inlight in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital (ASÍ Art Museum).

Sigurður Guðjónsson (b. 1975) was named The Artist of the Year for his incredibly powerful and consistent installation Inlight in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital (ASÍ Art Museum).

The exhibition displayed three video works, Fuser 2017Scanner 2017, and Mirror Projector 2017, that were all projected onto the floor and walls in three different locations in the building. The imagery was sourced from the world of technology and the lens of the camera is pointed at the rhythmic and repeated movements of machine parts in close up. The result was mesmerizing abstract images, lines, and lights that refer back and forth in time, in carefully considered interaction between image and sound.

The reverberations of moving rollers, scanners, and projectors blend into the imagery and integrated into the visual aspects of the works. Combined, the videos form a comprehensive installation in this unusual exhibition space, creating a compelling symbiosis of artwork and space. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm and flickering light contribute to creating the general experience, simultaneously evoking an awareness of the tangible and material and a sense of spiritual dimensions and the proximity of the otherworldly. The imagery and the way it is presented underlines the history of the building, its close connection with ideas of mercy, grace, and care.

Sigurður Guðjónsson: Inlight, in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital, ASÍ Art Museum. Photo: Vigfús Birgisson

The title of the exhibition refers to worship and efforts to capture the unique and transient with repetition and elation in a manmade environment of an abandoned building. The works refer to the history of mechanics and interpret the desire to mould the world and manage the properties of nature.

The panel thinks that Sigurður Guðjónsson’s works in the exhibition Inlight create an exceptionally strong whole. With an impressive interplay of image and sound, Sigurður manages with his work to make the viewers aware of the history of the exhibition space, spiritual dimensions, and their own fleeting existence.

Sigurður Guðjónsson: Inlight, in the chapel and morgue of former St. Joseph’s Hospital ASÍ Art Museum.

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