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The 6th Volume: Katrín Inga Jónsdóttir Hjördísardóttir Hirt
Living Art Museum (Nýló)
Above: The 6th Volume, work in progress by Katrín Inga Jónsdóttir Hjördísardóttir Hirt. Photo by Berglind Helgadóttir.
Above: The 6th Volume, work in progress by Katrín Inga Jónsdóttir Hjördísardóttir Hirt. Photo by Berglind Helgadóttir.

Curator:  Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

The 6th Volume, a solo exhibition, presents work and writings by individuals active within the practice and theory of visual art, chosen by the artist in an attempt to define contemporary art, based on the Icelandic art practices that have influenced her. The goal is to construct an “exhibition of every Icelandic contemporary artist” and by doing so, reflect on the current political environment of art. Katrín has hand-made several hundred sculptures in the form of a victory cup, which she calls Gratitude Sculptures. In a letter to invited participants she wrote to individuals she defines as “every Icelandic contemporary artist” consisting of artists, writers and thinkers involved in the field hoping to instigate an exchange; a work donated to Katrín for the exhibition in exchange for a Gratitude Sculpture.

A publication under the title The 6th Volume will form an integral part of the exhibition. To be revised and added to in three phases over the course of the exhibition, the publication will develop in flux with the exhibition, which will be under constant change. At the end of the exhibition period, the three revised phases of the publication will be present under a single book cover. In it will be descriptions of the work and texts in the exhibition. Text pieces will be mounted on the museum walls along with the other contributions.

The exhibition explores the boundaries between the author, curator, theorist and artist by expanding and tweaking ideas about these relationships. It looks at the overhead and inner structures of the art practices in a sincere and humorous way. As an ode to some of the practitioners that have influenced her in one way or another, for Katrín the running theme throughout the exhibition is gratitude to artists, thinkers and educators. Dealing with questions of history, The 6th Volume poses questions about who writes work into art history books, who builds the public collections and who influences or decides the future significance of cultural activity.

The title refers to the five volumes of Icelandic art history recently published by the National Gallery, where of the 5th volume came under considerable criticism for its attempt to deal with the contemporary period. Problems of whom and what is given significance arose immediately. The publication was the first grand scale attempt to deal with the young history of art in Iceland.

Katrin I Jonsdottir Hjordisardottir Hirt (b. 1982, Iceland) lives in Brooklyn, New York. In 2008 she recieved a BA in visual art from the Iceland Academy of the Arts and received a B.A. in art history and art theory in 2012 from the University of Iceland. Katrin is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and is a 2012/13 Fulbright Grantee. Katrin was awarded the Dungal Art Fund award for aspiring artists in 2012 and received the Guðmunda Andrésdóttir scholarship, which aims “to promote and encourage promising artists to study.” Katrin is co-funder of Artima gallery and served as board member of the Sequences Real-Time Art Festival in 2012. Katrin is co-founder of Contemporary.is, a web media about Icelandic art today and is a current board member of Endemi, an art publication. Recent exhibitions include solo projects at Gallerí Dvergur (Dwarf Gallery) Reykjavik, the SIM (Association of Icelandic Artists), and a project at Crymo in 2011. Katrín has participated in various group exhibitions, one of which was a project bearing the title Fræðimaðurinn (The Theorist) at the Museum of the 21st Century in Austria. In the work, Katrín sent Ólafur Gíslason, a renowned art writer and theorist, as her contribution to the exhibition. Katrín’s subjects often include the social and political landscape and ecology of the art environment, which she funnels into her practice in unusual and personal ways, through various methods and mediums. Katrín’s declared objective is to survive and save the world with art.

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May 15, 2013