In August of 2016, I travelled to Hjalteyri, a town of 35 people in Northern Iceland, to participate in a collaborative group show at the Verksmiðjan art centre.
Verksmiðjan is located in a massive concrete structure that was once the largest herring factory in all of Europe.
Summaryk (Summer Dust) featured the work of 11 artists:
Jim Holyoak, Christeen Francis, Michaela Grill, Nick Kuepfer, Mariana Frandsen, Jason Gillingham, Anna Rún Tryggvadottir, François Morelli, Hannelore Van Dijck, and myself.
For one month, several of us lived and worked together in the old, cold factory. We explored ideas of improvisation, collectivity, and experimental documentation. The space was gradually transformed and opened to visitors throughout the month. We also had a screening, opening and closing event.
My time at Verksmiðjan was largely dedicated to collective pursuits. As a group, we faced daily challenges of cooking, cleaning, using technology and maintaining life in a big old building with no heat or running water and no grocery store nearby. I tried to help others with their projects as much as working on my own, and my mind was an infinitely diverted list of things to do.
The show culminated in a multifaceted collection of works that filled the factory’s echo-y chambers: Video interviews, photos, objects, sound sculptures, wall drawings, flags, musical performances, and time-based installations.
The images below show some of the work that was closest to me.
Matt Shane acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Matt Shane remercie le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.