Photos by Rut Sigurðardóttir Published December 7, 2018 I am standing in Kjarvalsstaðir museum, where Haraldur Jónsson, one of Iceland’s most renowned visual artists, celebrated the opening of his mid-career retrospective, “Spectrum,” just a few weeks ago. It’s after the museum’s opening hours and, of course, it’s already dark outside. A small group of people stand in the East wing of the building, anticipating the evening’s performance. A seating area is separated from the waiting audience by a thick rope. Suddenly, Haraldur appears and takes one of the guests by the arm, and as his assistant lifts the rope, Haraldur guides her to the seat that he has apparently chosen for her amongst a series of theatre-like rows. His assistant gently grabs me and guides me to another chair. This silent yet authoritative ritual continues until everyone is seated. Tracing faces Haraldur and his assistant put up large red banners to create a “stage”—in reality, just an unused space in the gallery—and the artist finally breaks the silence. “I need two people who are very close to each other,” he says, mysteriously. A young, curious couple tentatively volunteer. What follows is the perfect example of how Haraldur works. The two… Read full this story
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