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Composition in Five Movements

February 10 - March 10

Skaftfell Art Center announces a new exhibition in the Skaftfell Gallery

February 10 – March 10, 2023

Opening February 10, 17:00-18:00

Composition in Five Movements

Video works by Barbara Naegelin, Dodda Maggý, Gústav Geir Bollason, Sigurður Guðjónsson and Steina

An exhibition of five video works on the theme of movement in various forms – elastic, flickering, perpetual, spontaneous, and hypnotic – will animate and illuminate the Skaftfell Gallery in an exhibition titled Composition in Five Movements. The group exhibition will open on February 10, during the annual List í Ljósi festival of light in Seyðisfjörður. For one month, the Skaftfell Gallery will become a place of light, colour, and contemplation with which to break out of the long winter darkness.

The exhibition features the work of four prominent Icelandic Video artists, Dodda Maggý, Gústav Geir Bollason, Sigurður Guðjónsson, and Steina; and the well-known Swiss artist Barbara Naegelin, whose new work was created while living in Seyðisfjörður in the summer of 2022.

Barbara Naegelin´s animated video, Membrane (2022), will be projected on a wall installed with reflective elements. It explores the phenomenon of quantum mechanics known as osmosis: the movement of molecules across a permeable membrane. The viewer observes cartoon molecules move and scatter across the wall, as a narrator (the voice of Seyðisjförður artist Ra Tack) explains the scientific principle of molecular diffusion.

Dodda Maggý´s kaleidoscopic video projection, DeCore (aurae) (2012), is shown as a continuous loop, inviting the viewer to get lost in the exhilarating sensation of its rapidly unfolding bursts of colour. A silent work, the video was nonetheless created with the timing, rhythms, and flow of musical composition – an important part of Maggý´s practice as both a composer and visual artist. The animation of exploding forms and colour is based on flowers in various stages of bloom.

The installation Flowers Under Skin (2020-21) by artist and filmmaker Gustav Geir Bollason, comprises 20 framed charcoal and frottage drawings of wildflowers. A single-channel video installed among the drawings combines the images of each of the drawings into one continuous flickering projection of light and movement. The flowers appear as if they are moving in a gentle wind. The work evokes the evanescence and fragility of life.

Filmed in one continuous camera shot of 60 minutes duration, Sigurður Guðjónsson´s mesmeric video Veil (2012) records the movement of sand blowing across the black dunes of South Iceland´s Skeiðarárssandur. The gauze-like flows of sand move across the undulating landscape in a manner that is both quietly meditative and seemingly endless. It is the artist´s intention that the video provides a  "mental space for the audience to zone out of their own consciousness “.

In Warp (2000), the Icelandic artist Steina – renowned for her pioneering work in performance and video art and her contributions to video-effects technology – has recorded herself dancing through an empty room, her body distorting as she moves. The video was created using a software program developed by Steina, working in close collaboration with Tom Demeyer at STEIM, in Amsterdam in 1997. The software program enables the manipulation of uncompressed video in real-time. In the case of Warp, the video tracks human movements through the optical-mechanical manipulations of the machine. As such, the work is part of Steina´s investigations into the development of a new visual language, one that playfully engages the tensions between natural realism and the technological artifice.

The exhibition is sponsored by: The Cantonal Culture Department Basel-Stadt, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Múlaþing, Menningar- og viðskiptaráðuneytið, and Uppbyggingarsjóður Austurlands.

For more information, please contact: or call 845 6017.


Exhibition Checklist

Barbara Naegelin (Swiss, b. 1967)

Membrane, 2022

Video animation, projected on wall and aluminium foil, with sound on headphones; duration 15:36 min, loop

Dodda Maggý (Icelandic, b. 1981)

DeCore (aurae), 2012

Single channel video; duration 12 min, loop

Gústav Geir Bollason (Icelandic, b. 1966)

Flowers Under Skin, 2020-21

Sigurður Guðjónsson (Icelandic, b. 1975)

Veil, 2012

Single channel HD video, stereo sound; duration 60 min

Steina (Icelandic, b. 1940)

Warp, 2000

Single channel digital video; duration 4:13 min; color, sound


Skaftfell. Center for Visual Art, East Iceland, 42, Austurvegur, Seydisfjordur, Múlaþing, Eastern Region, 710, Iceland