The Nordic Third World Country? – Icelandic art in times of cricis
Excercishallen, Färgfabriken Norr
Artists: Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, The Icelandic Love Corporation, Ragnar Kjartansson, Hildur Margarétardóttir, Bjargey Ólafsdóttir, Ingvar Högni Ragnarsson, Rúrí, Magnús Sigurdarson, Hreinn J. Stephensen, Pétur Thomsen
Curator Jonatan Habib Engqvist
Färgfabriken Norr presents the last major exhibition of the year with ten of Iceland’s currently most interesting artists.
The Nordic Third World Country? – Icelandic art in times of crisis is about artistic strategies, which in the long run affect Iceland’s economic and social crisis. It challenges and problematizes a common understanding of the Atlantic island from different perspectives, not least by playing with ideas about its “pure nature”. The project tells part of the complex story of one of the first nations to collapse in the recent economic crisis as a result of a combination of nepotism and international banking speculation, including accusations of terrorism from Central Europe as a bizarre consequence. Behind the somewhat ironic project title, there is also a search for an adequate vocabulary to depict the state of exception in a post-industrial nation where the notion of economic progression, from a Developing to an Industrial country, has been reversed. Furthermore, there is a desire to address the use of “green tech” by dirty industries to lure in small nations with natural resources onto non-reversible contracts.
This exhibition is a way of deepening the investigation of the frustration but also the redefinition of values taking place within current Icelandic cultural life and politics.
The exhibition is the culmination of a longer project, with a performance and exhibition by Ragnar Kjartansson and a seminar (The Nordic Third World Country – Panic or Possibility?) at Färgfabriken in Stockholm.
Between April 2008 and January 2011, Färgfabriken ran the Färgfabriken Norr branch in Östersund. The project was conducted in collaboration with Jämtland County Council and was partially EU-financed. Around twenty exhibitions, concerts, workshops and conferences were organised during the project period.