Morgunblašiš 10. august 2000

 

Ręktašu garšinn žinn - mynd

Morgunblašiš/Halldór B. Runólfsson

Hluti af skipan Hildar Jónsdóttur ķ gallerķ@hlemmur.is

Hildur Jónsdóttir has set up an exhibition with a video installation she calls Garden and stones  - Garten und steine in German  - where she stands in a white dress in an expanse of soft moss  - most likely in Eldhraun on Sķša  - in a typical Icelandic gale. She reaches out a stone in her palm and asks the audience where to put it so that she can find it again.

Around the TV screen Hildur has placed tablets or open cabinets with coloured pencil drawings of the garden, which in fact is the endless  flowing nature we know so well when we leave urban areas and turn to the land. In part Hildur takes on a guise of the goddess  - one is reminded of
Fjallkonan (the Icelandic Mountain woman myth), Mother Nature and all the fairy women that, according to national folklore, live in untouched lava 
formations and moss grown hollows. On the other hand her exhibition is akin to a class in ecology, the goddess ' cry to the viewer to respect nature as a living stage of individual beings.

Perhaps some would pass the judgement over Hildur that her exhibition is full of naiveté. It ought to be simple for her to find the stone again. All she needs to do is to attach a transmitter to it and relocate it with a receiver. But Hildur is probably talking about every stone and every plant,  tuft of moss and nook of lava, that only become familiar to those who know  the area as their own home.

What is remarkable about Hildur ' s exhibition is the reference  - conscious or unconscious  - to a classical era. The age of enlightenment and dawn of a romantic nature worship with all the elves and mystical beings of nature which the eighteenth century started to drag out of dark corners of the
common culture. Perhaps it ' s just a coincidence that Hildur should make such a video in Germany  - she has been in advanced studies in Hamburg for the last few years  - or is it? Would the subject have come to her as naturally if she had been somewhere else? Without crediting Hildur ' s place
of residence to much, it can be said that the spirit of her exhibition is interestingly harmonious with Germanys cultural vision of past and present.
This is of course not a fault as consequently her work has considerably more substance. Perhaps we have reached a destination in art ' s progress
where we can converse with the past without sounding too feeble. With her sincerity and honest approach, Hildur manages to strike a propitious
wavelength, rich with unexplored potential.