List í Þingholtunum og á Skólavörðuholtinu.

Myndlistarsýningin UNDIR BERUM HIMNI stendur yfir í miðborg Reykjavíkur frá 25.maí - 25.ágúst 2013. Sýningargestum er boðið að ganga um eitt elsta og fallegasta hverfi Reykjavíkur með sýningarskrá/götukort (prentað eða rafrænt) í hönd. Áhorfandi fer í gönguferð um hverfið, klæddur eftir veðri til að njóta verka eftir nær 100 listamenn. Verkin eru staðsett í húsagörðum, á almenningssvæðum og í gluggum. Listaverkin geta verið hvar sem er í rýminu sem höfundarnir hafa tileinkað sér.

Útisýningar á svæðinu eru ekki nýjar af nálinni. Sagt er að okkar ástsæli myndhöggvari Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) hafi fyrstur nefnt þá hugmynd að Skólavörðuholt yrði notað sem sýningarsvæði. Þá var landslag holtsins ennþá náttúrulegt. Á árunum í kringum 1970 voru haldnar útisýningar á holtinu undir merkjum SÚM-hópsins. Verkin vöktu mikla athygli og sterk viðbrögð, svo segja má að sýningarnar hafi brotið blað í íslenskri myndlistarsögu. Tveim áratugum síðar var haldin nýstárleg sýning í Þingholtunum Fyrir Ofan Garð Og Neðan á Listahátíð með þáttöku 23 listamanna.

Listamennirnir sem taka þátt í UNDIR BERUM HIMNI eru á öllum aldri. Þeir yngstu eru að stíga sín fyrstu spor í myndlist, en þeir eldri eru flestir með langan feril að baki. Strax eftir að blásið var til sýningarinnar var ljóst að áhugi fjölda listarmanna var vakinn. Líklegt er að tíðarandinn og ósk um nýja tíma í kjölfar lágdeyðu kreppunnar hafi hleypt krafti í fólk. Nú er lag að minna borgarbúa á tilvist og töfra myndlistar eftir þrengingar síðustu ára.

Myndlistaverkin eru mjög ólík og unnin í mismunandi miðla og efni. Þau spanna allt milli minimaliskrar hugmyndalistar, veggmálverka, textíls og hefðbundinna skúlptúra, svo eitthvað sé nefnt. Nokkur verkanna eru sköpuð sérstaklega fyrir rýmið og taka mið af umhverfinu. Sum munu standast tímans tönn, önnur veðrast fljótt og jafnvel hverfa. Enn önnur eru list augnabliksins; gerningar og samvera.

Eflaust munu margir, sem ekki sækja listsýningar að staðaldri, njóta þess að upplifa myndlist á ferskan hátt í gönguferðum um eitt rótgrónasta hverfi Reykjavíkur. Þar sem hús frá öllum byggingartímum sem vitna um þróun frá fátæku sjávarþorpi til vestrænnar borgar. Hverfið er margbreytilegt og myndrænt og því einstaklega vel til þess fallið að vera umhverfi fjölbreyttrar myndlistar.

Velvilji íbúa á svæðinu gerði sýninguna að veruleika. Þeim eru færðar bestu þakkir, sem og Reykjavíkurborg, Nýlistasafninu og Listahátíð í Reykjavík. Að undirbúningi sýningarinnar standa listfræðingar og myndlistarmenn. Skipulagningin er ólaunað sjálfboðastarf, sem við Alfa Rós Pétursdóttir, Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Björn Loki Björnsson, Elsa Jónsdóttir, Anja Ísabella Lövenholdt og Snorri Freyr Snorrason höfum innt að hendi. Ánægjan af því að gera menningu í formi myndlistar aðgengilega öllum er umbunin sem við fáum. Mjög miður er að ekki er hægt að greiða listamönnum fyrir vinnu þeirra, efnis- eða uppsetningarkostnað. Þeim eru færðar innilegar þakkir fyrir listrænt framlag sitt sem eflaust mun stuðla að auknum andlegum verðmætum sýningargesta.

Það er einlæg ósk aðstandenda sýningarinnar að gestir njóti vel gönguferðarinnar UNDIR BERUM HIMNI. Sýningin á að auðga menningu í borginni; gleðja, fræða og sýna fjölbreytileika myndlistarinnar.

G.ERLA – Guðrún Erla Geirsdóttir listfræðingur og sýningarstjóri

Vefsmíði: Karl & Leopold

Art In Downtown Reykjavik (in the Thingholts and Skolavorduholt)

UNDER THE OPEN SKY is an art exhibition in the Thingholts (Parliament Hills) and Skolavorduholt (School Cairn Hill) in downtown Reykjavik. Outdoor exhibitions in this area are not a new invention. It is said that the eminent sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) was the first to mention the idea that Skolavorduholt should be an area for sculpture exhibits. At that time the grand church structure of Hallgrimskirkja had not been built. The landscape there back then was natural and rugged. In the 1970’s there were sculpture exhibitions at Skolavorduholt, organized by the progressive artists in the SÚM group. These exhibitions got a lot of attention and surely broke new ground in Icelandic art history. Twenty years later at The Reykjavik Arts Festival in 1990 there was an outdoor exhibition, “Neither Here Nor There” in the Thingholts area. The art pieces were exhibited in gardens, on sidewalks, on walls and on rooftops. In addition, there were happenings and performances. The show was innovative and well received.

UNDER THE OPEN SKY offers the visitors to walk around one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Reykjavik with a street map in hand. The viewer searches for the art in gardens, in public areas or in windows. The art can be anywhere in the space that artists have developed. Many of the pieces are prepared especially for the environment in which they are exhibited.

The viewer walks around the neighborhood enjoying art works by 94 different artists. An art piece exhibited in the open air in the city center is challenging for an artist, even though the show is during the summer and lasts for only 3 months. Icelandic weather is so unpredictable and during the summer months you can expect heavy rain, winds and even sunshine – all at any time.

The artists involved in the show received an invitation through professional associations of artists. It was decided to not have a jury selection. The artists are of all ages. The youngest are just starting out, but many of the older artists have had a long career.

As soon as the word spread of UNDER THE OPEN SKY, it was clear that the interest of a number of artists was peaked. It is likely that the desire to create something new in the wake of the crisis and rough economic times has evoked a newfound energy and the artists are ready to be re-inspired and work even harder. No doubt the venue of the exhibition, both demanding and providing a unique space for the art, has also played a part in the huge interest.

Their work is very diverse, presented in different media and materials. Some of the art is made from materials that with withstand the test of time, while others will soon wither away and even disappear. Still others are arts of the moment; performances and togetherness in the here and now.

Surely many will enjoy the innovative art while walking through one of Reykjavik’s oldest neighborhoods filled with houses from different buildings eras. The older houses create the old charm of the neighborhood and the newer ones from the early 20th century clearly show a development; from a poor fishing village to a western city. In the neighborhood one can find old stone farmhouses from the 19th century, the typical Icelandic corrugated aluminum houses and very modern houses. The neighborhood is very visual and uniquely suited to be the environment for different works of art. The artists themselves found the space and the spirit, old or new, that they felt best suited their artwork.

The organizers of the exhibition contacted many residents of the area in regards to placements of the artwork, and they all had a positive respond. It was their goodwill that made the exhibit possible and we would like to sincerely thank them for their cooperation and interest. The Reykjavik Art Festival also acknowledged the exhibition, UNDER THE OPEN SKY as part of the festival and we would like to thank them for their cooperation. The preparation of the exhibition was in the hands of art historians and artists, some of whom have vast experiences in organizing similar artistic events. The organizers received no salary for their work. The pleasure of contributing to making art accessible to the public is the ultimate reward.

We have searched and applied for grants from a variety of sources. The city of Reykjavik gave one million Icelandic krona to the project. Of course this is only a fraction of the cost needed to make this exhibition its absolute best. It is very unfortunate not being able to pay artists anything for their participation, neither for materials nor for any costs of displaying their art. The artists are hereby given our sincere thanks for their artistic contribution and for promoting spiritual values to the viewers.

It is the sincere desire of the exhibition organizers that the visitors enjoy the walking tour among the art. UNDER THE OPEN SKY will hopefully enrich the culture in the city; bring happiness, educate and show the diversity of art.

G.ERLA - Guðrún Erla Geirsdóttir Art Historian and Curator

Web development: Karl & Leopold