|Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir
|Snjór á himnum
|28. 11. 2009 - 10. 01. 2010
|Opens Saturday 28th of November at 5 pm.
The two pieces are titled:
The exhibition is fundamentally simple and I avoid complex speculations pertaining to theoretical essence or purpose.
I am recording my experiment of learning to play the piano by ear.
The piece is Bach´s Goldberg variations. Bach originally composed it for Count Kaiserling who suffered insomnia and requested that the composer wrote a piece that could be played through sleepless nights, a piece that would capture his mind and bring him joy.
The version I listen to in order to master is performed by Glenn Gould.
I do not read notes and have neither a knowledge nor experience of playing instruments.
In the first room there would be speakers on the left playing the original version of the piece. My study recording would be in the space used for the video, on the right. It is an audio/video recording of the uncut learning process a total of 60-70 hours, played according to the galleries opening, the first four hours the first day et cetera.
Another project for this exhibition are broken items from porcelain and glass that I have melted into tiles to be laid on the floor in the exhibit space.
On what ignited the pieces.
I had been wondering how I or anyone could create visual art for the blind, without resorting to tacit feeling or use of poetry.d. Somehow I felt that art should create motion, not just an emotion.
I may be inclined to consider conceptual distance as an embraceable space.
Items that form a dialogue and create space. For some time the creation of such spaces and calling the result a sculpture has occupied me. Creating sculptures that that are intended to convey the idea of such spaces i.e. the ball of scotch tape and accompaniating text in the Nordic house or the installation in the banananas gallery where clocks in an audio performance joined in on the chiming from Hallgrímskirkja every fifteen minutes.
I started courting a concept that creates a feeling for movement, verbal associations and such.
When I got a job as a reader for audiobooks at the Library for the blind I was charmed by the relationship between the reader sitting alone in the studio reading his book that will then be listened to by a total stranger in the the privacy of his own space.
I felt I had been granted access to a world that is completely three-dimensional but also invisible, because it is sound, space and a palpable relationship between persons and environment where things exist in relation to distance.
When I first heard the Goldberg’s variations I saw a clear drawing. Bach’s music is so methodological and symmetrical that it is mesmerizing. A few years later a longing to learn to play the piano emerged and this is what I wanted to do. To play by ear my favourite piano piece, I felt I should be able to capture something that I loved and know by heart, well enough to sing or whistle.
In the midst of these “blind speculations” I decided to create a work of art out of it, It was to be a sculpture for the blind.
A recording of the learning phase where (hopefully) fractions of the original piece will crystallise and resonate with the original piece.
But then I have no idea whether or not the blind take any interest in this.
There are two main themes that are present.
On one hand a justification of the project as spatial work and on the other hand the soothing effects that attract me. I yearn to do this. It strengthens my relationship to god, I admit my shortcomings and I am willing to learn.
Bach composed this piece for a friend suffering from sleeplessness so it is probably no coincidence that it brings calmness and a piece of mind.
The shards of broken pottery and ornaments I had gathered into a bag when we were packing my grandmothers belonging after she moved to a nursing home. Even though these were broken things she had stored them for years with the prospect of them being glued together later or just for rememberance. To acknowledge their existence and that maybe they would one day be replaced. I gathered these items with a heavy heart, it pained me to bag them to be thrown away, the enengy and spirit of decades of my grandparents life.
It was an immense relief when I realized that I could melt these things and remake them. Early next morning I was startled awake by the sound of the trash collectors approaching my house, coming for those items. They almost got the bin containing the precious bag but I could get them to wait while I fished it out.
It feels good to sort things out and assign a new role, bad to throw them out like any other garbage.
Things and places contain the energy of events, I think, it was recently revealed In Italy whilst demolishing an old building that some materials from the isolation had been recording sounds from the houses.
Composed for Music Lovers, to Refresh their Spirits:
Enigma nr.1 (Space):
We are inclined to think that space is a forgone conclusion: ‘You Are Here,’ as it was Newton who won the populist vote in some long forgotten debate between him and Leibniz on the question of space and its relativity (so we can be more secure in our knowledge that space is an unquestionable constant). We know, but we do our best to forget, that scientists and fanatics of all kinds lean on a relational outlook towards it – at least to the extent that the substance of things seem disquietingly unstable. We are haunted by the usefulness of this relativity while devoted to an irrational belief in the presence of all things existing in equal simultaneity.
The conclusion (according wikipedia’s article on space):
Kant rejected the view that space must be either a substance or relation. Instead he came to the conclusion that space and time are not discovered by humans to be objective features of the world, but are part of an unavoidable systematic framework for organizing our experiences.
And there we have it!
Enigma nr. 2 (The Goldberg Variations):
Bach composed the Goldberg Variations “for Music Lovers, to Refresh their Spirits,” which contrasts itself to compositions made for those “desirous of learning,” and thereby sabotaging the commercial success of his sheet music (which was predominated by middle-class amateurs). They are the only words that speak of
Bach’s own enjoyment of the work’s complexity. A variation, on the other hand, is a repetitive composition that thrives on differences between sameness. It has sameness as its substance and produces geometry through its composition.
Enigma nr.3 (The Artist):
The artist has recorded her attempt to learn the Goldberg Variations. It is faltering at first because the artist has never learned to read notes. Instead she attempts her rendition by ear alone. The recording of this process is presented on one side of a space, while on the other side, a recording of the same composition by Glen Gould is presented. The question of origins is problematic because the attempt is an imitation of another rendition while its existence lay in the serial construction of a composition. It is an echo of inner dimensions made of space and filled by variations in sameness.
The work is originally inspired by a conundrum – how it might be possible to make art for the blind. Music and touch are too obvious to really encompass this ideal. What counts instead is an experience that evades the visual perception of space, which tends in any case to focus too much on the limits of what we see instead of its content. The result is the experience of space as a substance – it exists between two propositions of the same thing.
Enigma nr.4 (Substance trapped in Matter):
The Library of the Blind houses an extensive collection of audio books. Each book contains the voice of a reader trapped within the pattern of the tape. The voice of the artist is amongst them. It is a recording of energy spent in the past, but lying dormant for later consumption. The density of it lies somewhere between inexplicable meaningfulness of an art object and antimatter – a heavy sense of existence made up of nothing at all.
Geirþrúður Finnbogadóttir Hjörvar
Kling & Bang gallery
Open Thursday-Sunday 2-6 pm
Grandagarður 20 - 101 Reykjavík