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Gabríela Fridriksdóttir Inside the Core at Migros Museum
Work of art at the exhibit.

ZURICH.- The Migros Museum presents the exhibit Gabríela Friðriksdóttir Inside the Core. Icelandic artist Gabriela Friðriksdóttir’s (*1971) drawings, sculptures, music experiments and videos create a microcosm tending towards Surrealism, peopled with hybrid and sexually charged beings that can be read as metaphors for melancholy and excess. Alongside the earlier work «Versations/Tetralógía» the artist will present «Inside the Core», a room installation specially produced for the migros museum für gegenwartskunst.

Gabríela Friðriksdóttir’s video works are distinguished by a meditative narrative structure, which is fed by Nordic sagas, and breaks with rational logic. Her creative drive has been influenced by a compulsion to investigate the irrational and mysterious, and this is reflected in her sculptures. Her tendency to experiment with ephemeral materials leans to the tradition of Dieter Roth, who has exercised a great influence on art production in Iceland. Thus one can find in her work mud, hay and bread dough along with fur, plaster and pieces of wood.

In the work «Versations/Tetralógía», first exhibited at the Venice-Biennial 2005, the artist creates a complex, closed system of symbols which not only link various media, but also combine and compose anew the most varied cultural, religious and psychic landscapes. To form a dialectic, Friðriksdóttir uses so-called Versation, a rhetorical stylistic device that has emerged specifically from Icelandic cultural circles and, unlike the monologue, distinctly involves listeners who, though silent, do not remain passive. The core work of four videos serves as a navigation system through this nebulous landscape, which in each case is named according to the points on the compass. Numbers do not occur in Friðriksdóttir’s work simply by coincidence; their mysticism and cultural meaning have been fully investigated. Hence the number four is not only representative of the four elements, the four seasons or the four medieval attributions of the earthly, but it also surfaces in C. G. Jung’s psychoanalytical writings: the four pillars upon which Jung categorised human consciousness were feeling, thought, perception and memory.

In her works, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir has frequently collaborated with people from her own close-knit circle. The music for each of her four videos was composed by Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Borgar þór Magnason, Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson and Jónas Sen, based on her own written, fragmentary melody. Together with the dancer Erna Ómarsdóttir, internationally renowned for her «Tremble Dance», Björk Guðmundsdóttir plays a major role in the video «North», as a demon-bearing Venus.

Her new complex of work «Inside the Core», assembled from film, drawings and sculptures has as its dominant feature the number eight, but it is also to be read as a reflection on this number. The film is constructed of eight major scenes, each linked to one bridging sequence forming the closed shape of a circle, which presents, in reduced form, the number eight. In each scene, the film’s protagonists, a girl and a baker, symbol of the creator, negotiate an element from Friðriksdóttir’s material cosmos. While the drawings serve as sketches for the work, the displayed sculptures could be described as eruptions from its filmic core, to the artist’s personal periodic table. Here Friðriksdóttir investigates the duality principle, which oscillates between order and chaos, the confused interior and the clean, neat exterior, intense passion and heavy melancholy.

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