DIALOGUE ACROSS GENERATIONS
ÁRNESINGA ART MUSEUM
2018, Hveragerði, Iceland
THE IDEA OF THE BODY
Guðjón Ketilsson is one of the contemporary Icelandic artists who makes most use of wood in his works. The wood is cut, carved, smoothed and painted with skill and care. While his art is conceptual, he presents it through one of humanity’s oldest creative media.
Guðjón’s Tools appear at first glance to be old craftsmen’s tool of wood and metal. They have the aura of rather old-fashioned gadgets that sit well in the hand and have gained a fine patina from decades of use. On closer scrutiny, however, they are seen to be unusable tools with no practical application. Guðjón´s beautiful but non-functional Tools represent the idea of gadgets, a memory of the craft traditions of olden times, a symbol of our relationship with the world around us and the age-old need to shape it.
The installation Hair comprises objects carved in wood and painted white. Guðjón has long been working with our relationship with the human body, and has selected certain related themes, such as Christ´s loincloth in the installation Fragment, and his shoe works. The Tools are also in a sense extensions of the human hand. While the spherical elements of the installation Hair reference the locks on certain well-known heads, at the same time they are enigmatic, and some are even reminiscent of shells and other organic forms. The painted surfaces mean that the material is disguised, and the wood can be misleading.
Curator: Ásdís Ólafsdóttir