ICELANDIC LOVE CORPORATION
(SIGRÚN HRÓLFSDÓTTIR, JÓNÍ JÓNSDÓTTIR, EIRÚN SIGURDARDÓTTIR)
Date: 25-Mar-2009 – 24-Apr-2009
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
‘The three artists that are The Icelandic Love Corporation might add a smirk to a serious scene or, conversely, hint at seriousness and engage in cultural critique by means of face-value frivolity. In either case, when the ILC holds up a mirror to contemporary society through their art, reflected is an image of reality that is as complex and multifaceted as our daily lives on micro and macro levels. Love and pain, excitement and danger, lightheartedness and stoicism, a critique of society’s ills and an indulgence in society’s excesses – these elements neither contradict nor push and pull against each other but work dialectically and, if we dare, allow us to enter into dialogue with the group’s work’.
– Shauna Laurel Jones, Excerpt from essay on ILC appearing in the forthcoming book Icelandic Art Today, 2009
The Icelandic Love Corporation is a group of three artists: Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir (1973), Jóní Jónsdóttir (1972) and Eirún Sigurdardóttir (1971) formed in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1996. Much of ILC’s work is anchored in the traditions of their ancestors but it also responds to the spirit of the moment, mixing the old with the new. Their oeuvre is characterised by conceptual and thematic interconnectivity and they see their body of work as a family tree where new branches – thoughts and inspirations – grow continuously, whilst always being connected to its roots.
The ILC is interested in the patterns of society, its traditions and systems, and this installation at CAST represents an abstract vision and understanding of the idea of hospitality. While the black swan is native to Tasmania, from a European perspective it can function as a metaphor for the uninvited guest, evoking a range of complex ideas around newcomers and the notion of strangeness.
Simultaneously, with this installation the Corporation investigates how seemingly random incidents retrospectively become pieces of a much bigger picture. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Black Swan Theory’ is about events that have low predictability and high consequence, which seem to happen out of the blue. After such an event we often feel we should have seen it coming, prompting us to rewrite the past to accommodate our blindness.
Accommodating the unexpected is also central to the ILC’s creative philosophy; in their collaborations they follow instinct and strive towards maintaining a certain artistic randomness. Craftsmanship, playfulness, humour, sincerity and a love for life all play important roles in their collective conduct. For the ILC, art should be effortless and fun: ‘We like to celebrate the act of being creative…we are not politicians or propagandists but we know there is more underneath superficial appearances. We like to have a dialogue and discussion with our audience and humour is a good way of doing that’.
Hospitality joyfully celebrates human interaction. At the same time, however, it recognises the potential dangers and very human contradiction that lurks behind social convention. Through it all the Icelandic Love Corporation maintains: Love conquers all! The future is beautiful!