The exhibition AN UNSPEAKABLE of the young celebrated Icelandic artist PÁLL HAUKUR will take place in the church foyer of Hallgrimskirkja Sunday September 8- November 24.
The opening of the exhibition is after the mass on Sunday at 12.15.
All are welcome and light refreshments will be served in the south wing invited by the Hallgrimskirkja congregation.
Curator is Rósa Gísladóttir.
Playing with boundaries and definitions is a practice where the artistic self is as much a suspect in the interrogative process as are its products. Resulting in a versatile but distinct body of work, Páll Haukur’s process ranges from the minimal to the maximal, the deterministic to the arbitrary, often mixing the two together with unforeseen consequences. Páll Haukur studied at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and the California Institute of the Arts where he graduated with a MFA in 2013. With a focus on drawing, sculpture and performance, his installations have been shown in Iceland, Europe and the US since 2008. He lives and works in Reykjavík.
Which is heavier, a kilo of feathers or a kilo of lead?
By Gudrun Eva Mínervudóttir
When I was small 1 I used to enjoy setting people riddles that were actually traps for the unwary. The joy I felt when someone thought a kilo of lead was heavier than a kilo of feathers was totally at the expense of the victim and anything but noble. Thinking back on it, was this aggressive chaffing maybe a suppressed rebelliousness and a natural reaction to our socialising initiation into the world of limits and measurements. 2 ‘Ha ha,’ says the spirit of rebellion. ‘You’re so taken up with lead being heavier than feathers that you trip up over the facts.3 In seeking to formulate an image of the world as a material object that would fit into some container – if the container was only big enough – the most obvious truth escapes you.’ 4 Is it more correct to say pencils are made of lead or from lead? 5 Why should we want a world that fits – or doesn’t fit – inside a measuring jug? Can it be that we base everything on our own perspective, on our own scale, and so experience our smallness in the face of eternity and the immeasurable? 6 We are both measurable and immeasurable. We are time and space. Eternity and infinity. We are the container that could hold the world – if the world was a thing. 1 How small? Small compared to what? 2 No, it can’t be this, as there are only twenty-four hours in a day. It can’t be this because. It can’t be this. 3 Feathers are not inherently lighter than lead, but the softness has greater extent than the hardness. Infinite softness would then be infinite in extent. So when we trip it is into softness, which is infinite and so everywhere. So be it. Amen. 4 But even so not entirely. Whatever we live and move in cannot escape us completely. Just as water does not escape the fish, even if it has never given a moment’s thought to what it is that surrounds it. 5 It’s a matter for our own conscience whether we perplex people with home-made cockatrices or other fictions. 6 Experiencing one’s smallness has hitherto been considered a good exercise and the mark of a healthy humility. But all the world’s vexation comes about through our sense of human inferiority. Which in turn comes about through our reluctance to recognise our own illimitability. We are both measurable and immeasurable. We are time and space. Eternity and infinity. We are the container that could hold the world – if the world was a thing.