04.02.2023 – 02.04.2023
Documentation images: Tor S. Ulstein / Kunstdok
For the second iteration of (be)longing, two new artist publications and installations by Vicente Mollestad and Júlía Hermannsdóttir are presented in the main gallery at House of Foundation. In the auxiliary reading room, a new selection of independently published titles has been selected by Bladr (DK).
Otherness is not always an immediately visible attribute. Nor is it comfortable. More often than not, it is also out of our control. Through the lens of the body and all that is visceral, this exhibition and pair of publications grounds the viewer in the familiar territories of love, lust and grainy selfies, while serving up an ample dose of horror and flirting with the taboo.
cheat sheet by Júlía Hermannsdóttir (IS) candidly documents debilitating auto-immune illness with generosity, directness and dark humor. Júlía was just 22 years old and still in university when her body mysteriously started failing her. Her sudden diagnosis and multiple surgeries resulted in a forced move out of New York City and home to Iceland, along with a sober re-evaluation of almost every aspect of her life. How would she continue to produce creative work, much less survive in a capitalistic society that devalues and displaces disabled bodies?
Her “cheat sheet”, from which the artist book of the same name is adapted, is both a timeline and a (failed) resume, a litany of gore and the story of her young life; it is what she has prepared for the doctors and nurses who still cannot 100% confirm she has Chron’s disease.
Your Lips Are Wet With Venom by Vicente Mollestad (NO/BO) reflects on love, intimacy and sex as something inseparable from politics, history, capitalism, class, assimilation, power, colonialism. Dehumanization. Racialisation. Etc.
These reflections are presented in the form of song lyrics in varying styles, tone and genre, and are to be considered free to be used by the reader, myself or other artists alike in/for music making. The work deals/spawns from experiences and (thoughts/meditation) on growing/dating up as a indigenous person of color in a (white) European country. (and) Then going back to my country of birth/origin. As a consequence, love has been a difficult, growing concern to the point where it’s really (consuming) entangled with the world at large, political views and affiliations, and more difficult the more I think about it.
Vicente Mollestad (b. 1987) is a Bolivian-born artist based between La Paz, Bolivia and Skien, Norway. His artistic practice develops within and around the relationship between the west and the un-western, particularly how coloniality lives and sets the premise for the development of globalism, immigration and culture production. He works with various mediums, including installation, painting, sound, text and performance, and there is a continuous exploration of alternative spaces, audience and what he defines as practice. Among recent projects is an investigation of the phenomena that was European cannibal films from the 70s-80s, and looking into how global immigration and world politics shaped and continues to shape the Norwegian rap scene.
Júlía Hermannsdóttir (b. 1987) is an Icelandic musician, illustrator, and human based in Reykjavík. Since 2012, she has sung and played synthesizers in the shoegaze band Oyama. She holds a BFA in illustration from Parsons School of Design, which was narrowly completed due to grave and unforeseen sickness. She currently works full-time for a digital health company in an attempt to avoid the economic hardship associated with managing chronic illness, and hopes she’ll have some energy to spare for personal creative endeavors.
The publications and works in this exhibition were made thanks to the financial support of Arts and Culture Norway: The Norwegian-Icelandic Cultural Collaboration Fund, Project Support, and the Pilot for the distribution and display of artists' books.
A public conversation between the artists in conjunction with the exhibition opening and book launch took place on Saturday, February 4 from 12:30 at House of Foundation in Moss.
Image credit: Martin M. Sørhaug
cheat sheet had its Icelandic launch with the artist present on Saturday, April 1 at the 2023 Reykjavik Art Book Fair at the Reykjavik Art Museum.
Image credit: Elo Vazquez