abril 2009 Posts

Pale Rays of Light

Haraldur Jónsson. From the series “Arctic Fruits”, 1999-2001, photograph.










Pale Rays of Light


It’s that time of year again: The darkest days when the sun – if seen at all – barely manages to peek up over the southern horizon to send a few, pale rays of light down on Iceland. Yet this is, traditionally and always, a time of celebration for now the days will start to grow longer, each one a little lighter than the one before, until we can bask in the midnight sun again. Whether this holds as an analogy for the tough times we are experiencing economically remains to be seen but Icelanders are not easily discouraged and we continue to hope for the best.

The coming year will certainly be difficult with cultural institutions taking new budget cuts on top of the ones already imposed last year. Exhibitions and international projects will have to be scaled down and fewer catalogues will be published. On the bright side, though, artist stipends will continue as before and while Icelandic institutions will not have much money to initiate international projects, the favourable exchange rate will make it easier for institutions and individuals from abroad to bring their projects to Iceland.

Yet, even though things might have slowed a bit here at home, Icelandic artists continue their activities abroad, with exhibition projects and performances. In the beginning of the new year we will also be able to cheer Kristján Guðmundsson as the Carnegie Art Award exhibition comes to Iceland – Kristján won first prize. Furthermore, an international conference is planned for the spring to discuss language and art, particularly the issue of how linguistic boundaries affect local production and reception of art. More such projects are planned for the near future and there is strong interest in continuing to strengthen and expand the art scene, despite all difficulties. List – Icelandic Art News – will certainly continue in the new year and we will keep reporting on new developments and projects.

List: Icelandic Art News is published by the Center for Icelandic Art, a cooperative project of Iceland’s museums and artists’ organisations. List is edited by Christian Schoen and Jón Proppé. If you wish not to receive announcements of our new issues – or you want to contact us for any other reason – please send a mail to list@cia.is.