COLUMN II (2022)
Located at a pathway by the seaside at Ægisíða in Reykjavík
Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir’s COLUMN II acts as a kind of holy concrete city gate, shrouded in dignity and grandeur, standing by the seaside of Ægisíða. The negative space forms the shape of a column, but since ancient Greek times, the pillar has been a recurring theme in architecture around the world. Historically, columns been used to reference greatness, power and wealth, in government buildings, banks, educational institutions and in the driveways of those more fortunate. It also refers to nature, the human body, and kingdom of heaven or the divine. Ancient Greek culture, or the cradle of civilization, is the heritage that Western nations consider when documenting their history. By pointing to, but at the same time removing, the phallic symbol and making the pillar a two-dimensional hole, corridor or intangible phenomenon, Ragnheiður has paved a new path where she waits for the viewer to walk through the value-laden side and become a participant in rethinking and rewriting the story on its own terms.
Curator: Kristín Dagmar Jóhannesdóttir
COLUMN II was a part of the exhibition THE WHEEL V: ALL IS WELL, the fifth and final edition of The Wheel, that opened June 9th 2022 during The Reykjavik Art Festival. THE WHEEL I-V is a series of five outdoors exhibitions held annually around the city since 2018 by the Reykjavík Association of Sculptors leading up to their 50th anniversary, August 17th 2022. This time, artworks by eight artists appeared in the oldest neighbourhoods of Reykjavík as the exhibition weaved its way through areas 101, 102 and 107 Reykjavik. Varied nature, the artists’ works shed new light on our everyday surroundings, provoking a deep study of both area and history while simultaneously examining the more complex social stratification of the cityscape. THE WHEEL V: ALL IS WELL is a fascinating opportunity to experience the familiar in new ways, to get to know the works of a truly diverse group of artists and ponder the time and space of the city, in your own time.
THE WHEEL V: ALL IS WELL was made in collaboration with The Reykjavik Art Festival and The Nordic House in Reykjavik, with support from the City of Reykjavik and Visual Arts Fund.
Photos: Christopher Lund