How does one commemorate appalling acts without turning it into a spectacle? For my master’s solo exhibition, in early 2022, I spray-painted the words „Farðu til fjandans helvítis útlendinga skíturinn þinn“ (Go to hell you fucking foreign shit) on the gallery windows in Breiðholt, and all hell broke loose. This solo exhibition is inspired by the backlash I received in connection with that textual work. The comments from strangers online have since become a minefield of hatred, stupidity and racism, serving as material for the exhibition. A private act of violence towards me has turned into a public debate on how we reconcile with racism in this country. The exhibition aims to reclaim the mechanism of language that racist speech exploits, by deliberately manipulating its visibility and navigating the difference between seeing, reading and ultimately – understanding.
Melanie Ubaldo (born 1992) graduated with an MA in Fine Arts from the Iceland University of Arts in 2022. She is a founding member of the artist-trio Lucky 3 and has participated in exhibitions in Iceland and abroad. Her work can be found in the collections of Reykjavík Art Museum, Hafnarborg and more.
Artist: Melanie Ubaldo