Process & Pretense
Dimensions Variable (DV) launches Process & Pretense, a project by Magnús Sigurdarson. As part of our new digital initiative, we want to focus on artwork that conceptually engages with the internet, social media, and digital space. These tools have changed society as we know it, we want to encourage and support experimentation in this space as a serious place for contemporary art experiences.
Magnús Sigurdarson has made an analysis of the obvious subject of his artwork. On this occasion, he focuses on a number of fixed points in reality which are found both in nature and in culture. Various creations and works of art have acquired significance in the human quest for the sublime. They bring together apparently contrasting qualities: on the one hand, they’re spectacular, overwhelming, and affect us by their sheer scale; on the other hand, they’re modest and symmetrical and appeal to us by their simplicity. Magnús sets out to break these assumptions down into their component atoms, in a quest to find some kind of nucleus – while at the same time asking himself, and us, questions about the internal and external reality of the individual, and his/her attitude to a Higher Power.
This video was shot in Hallgrímskirkja (The Church of Hallgrimur) in Reykjavik, May 15th, 2015.
Part of the ongoing series of Diagnosis of the Obvious. Magnús’ works thus have existential overtones, addressing the theme of the human being in his/her solitude, and the constant quest for means of expression and understanding between people. Magnús is best known for photographic series, video art, and installations in which he references familiar features of pop culture, the media, and higher powers.
Magnús Sigurðarson exposes his own vulnerability in discrete acts, each of them acknowledging the pathos of his (and our) being. With a self-deprecating sense of humor, Sigurdarson plays out his heightened awareness of being out of place in his characters as the painted singing Roman statue, the marooned Icelander on South Beach, the English Beefeater man in the streets of London, or a Union soldier on an Indian battlefield. His works employ a range of media, from interventions in public space and sculptural installations to intimate photographic and video work.
He has exhibited at Reykjavik Art Museum, the Icelandic Consulate in Berlin, Dimensions Variable, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Sigurdarson studied art at Studio Cecil and Graves, Florence, Italy (1988), The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts (1992) and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA (1997). He is a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient with multiple grants and awards. His works are included in the collections of Debra and Dennis Scholl, Miami Beach; Alberto Chebebar, Miami Beach; Collezione La Gaia, Busca, Italy, MDD – Museum Dhondt – Dhaenes, Gent, Belgium; The Icelandic National Gallery, Reykjavik; The Reykjavik Municipal Museum, Reykjavik; The Related Group, Miami and The Private Collection of Emmanuel Javogue, Miami. Magnus Sigurdarson is represented by Emerson Dorsch, Miami. He currently lives and works in Miami, Florida.