An Image of You
Solo exhibition at Skaftfell Center for Visual Art, Seyðisfjörður
Text by curator Gavin Morrison:
Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson (b. 1988) is unusually attentive to those incidental moments and structures of modern life within which we leave an oblique trace of our presence.
The back wall of the gallery at Skaftfell is filled with seventy-five framed drawings. Their primary colours and geometric appearance may suggest the austere forms of minimalism—art that decries the presence of gesture and the human touch. But within each of the apertures is a scribble. The simplest gesture made absentmindedly while engaged in another task or pragmatically in trying to make the ink flow in a pen. They are actions which are on the edge of becoming a drawing, where intention has not yet surfaced.
Elsewhere in the gallery is a series of photographs, formally composed and professionally shot but the subjects are unusually turned from the camera. Only the back of the head and the most glancing presence of a profile is visible. Sigurðsson has taken the convention of the hair salon photograph, those images found on posters in hairdressers that show the styles available. As such the individual in the photograph is not quite the subject of the photograph.
And as a final gesture—a type of punctuation mark—is a print of a mountain shape with the word “ok” below. It could be a declarative question, an inquiry to our well-being or a statement of reassurance. But it is also the name of a disappearing glacier in Iceland. Ok is not ok. Giving things names, that most fundamentally of human gesture in which we make sense of the world, sometimes allows unintentional meanings to form too.