Sleppa leiğarkerfi.

 #2 [June 2005]


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Magnús Árnason

Sveinbjörn Jónsson, 2001

He is probably the darkest hope of the young Icelandic art scene. In his installations and films Magnús Árnason creates an atmosphere somewhere between magic and nightmare. His gloomy worlds are populated with phantastic figures surrounded by dark, mystic nature. One of his main figures is “Benedikt” who did not spring from a horror movie but arose fully created from the lava-fields.

In his performances and films, Benedikt acts in mysterious ways, accomplishing (pseudo)archaic and symbolic deeds: In an independent contribution to the Reykjavík Arts Festival 2005 Magnús Árnason performed “Metamorphosis” where he introduced Benedikt in a small chamber in a tiny and dark back yard where he sat for hours skinning birds.


The artist loves to play with the mysterious and the horrible; he plays with our curiosity, with our fears and the subconscious. On the occasion of an exhibition in Gallery Nema hvað in Reykjavík he placed a huge block of ice in front of the entrance. In fact this installation in public space caused some problems with the authorities: The longer this iceblock was lying there the more it melted and released the body of a man – at least one could see

clothes and the shape of a figure. Did he get lost on a glacier?

Metamorphosis, 2005



Where was he going an what for? – f.ex his piece “ Kaldatunga” in The Living art museum could show his home/living quarters) The viewer, spectator, witness wants to know more about the persons, wants to hear the stories - but Magnús Árnason refuses to tell more. The viewer is left alone with hints and vague situations. The artist might be influenced by Icelandic mysticism and by the morbid city of Vienna where he studied for four years. But he uses the language of Edgar Allan Poe, of horror movies and he is influenced by death metal. In his unique work, Magnús Árnason gives the dark side of surrealism new expressions and transforms fears into a new form of real fiction.

Magnús Árnason is one of the 11 artists who are separately introduced in the CIA.IS – Center for Icelandic Art in Reykjavík (until end of August).





Mucus, 2005












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