The Wheel: Gone with the wind
The Reykjavík Association of Sculptors
03.06. — 18.08.2018
curated by Heiðar Kári Rannversson

The first exhibition of the series THE WHEEL was called GONE WITH THE WIND. The exhibition’s conceptual frame is based on the title of the series and refers to the wheel of fortune (Rota Fortunae), a symbol of progression and the cycle of life but is also a reference to the world itself; the wheel as an ever-turning hemisphere. The story of the wheel of fortune has its roots in the determinism of humankind, where the goddess Fortuna was believed to decide the fate of every human by spinning a wheel they were stuck on. In that way, some were truly fortunate in life and others were victims of bad luck, but through the symbol of the wheel one can sense that man has long realized that earthly existence is quite transitory. And now it seems that man is finally comprehending that the world he inhabits is also impermanent. Thus, the term Anthropocene is generally used to describe a new epoch, where man and his systems are formative powers that transform Earth in an unprecedented and irreversible way.
The objective of the exhibition GONE WITH THE WIND was to deal with urgent questions about the cohabitation of man (or artist) and Earth; how visual arts can display and address the Anthropocene , which should much rather be called the Capitaloscene, as it is subject to economic and ecological changes. The exhibition was an endeavor to present answers to these questions in various ways but overall, it was a journey through a transient world, where the possibilities of life in capitalist ruins were sought.*

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However, Steinunn Önnudóttir’s work, Casablanca, addresses the past of the district in which it has been placed. The work is in a green area above Háagerði in the Smáíbúðahverfi, but similar to the case of Steingrímur Eyfjörð and Unnar Örn, it is also conceived as a monument. The work is an approximately 3–meter–tall sculpture in steel and a nod to one of the main characteristic features of the houses around the district; here, countless railings and fences can be found, made of wrought iron, twisted or molded into various shapes, demonstrative for some delicate craftmanship. Steinunn, who has a personal connection to the neighborhood has watched how this characteristic is gradually disappearing as the houses have been altered and expanded as time has progressed.  Thereby, the work is a reference beyond itself to details in our nearest environment which have been overlooked by us — to unpretentious beauty the artist wants us to notice.

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*This is a loose reference to Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s book, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015), which was one of the pillars of the exhibition concept

Heiðar Kári Rannversson
excerpt from The Wheel