“Art is a value of the heart in Iceland”
Iceland’s appreciation of art is a value of the heart, but doesn’t have the money, according to Icelandic duo The Villains.
Andrea Ágústa Aðalsteinsdóttir, 26, focuses on video performance, writing and photography. Her partner in The Villains, Anton Logi Ólafsson, also 26, works mostly in performance and media.
We interviewed them at Ekkisens in Reykjavik where they were showing their exhibition Dog Eat Dog, which started as a look at destruction as an aspect and how it can somehow benefit society.
Andrea said: “The inner dialogue is super dreamy, one of my friends said it was like walking through a dream.”
She said it was challenging to be a young artist in Iceland in terms of finding good opportunities.
“I think it changes a lot quite fast, sometimes there are a lot of things to get connected with, sometimes it feels like nothing is coming up and then it breaks down again.”
She continued: “People from elsewhere seem to be inspired that we’re more about doing instead of questioning before taking action.”
Anton added: “There’s not enough opportunities for us, there are too many artists for the opportunities, there’s not enough funding and only a few grants.”
But they agreed art was valued in some way in Iceland, even if there is not a strong art market.
Andrea said: “Art is valued by a very small group of people.”
Anton continued: “I don’t know if it’s monetarily valued, most people value culture in Iceland and we have our own cultural identity. People are proud of good artists and everything but I don’t think there’s a big art market – values of the heart but don’t have the money.”
Find out more about Andrea here.
Find out more about Anton here.
Words by Beth Cherryman