Installation, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Plastic bucket, wooden stick, stone, branch from a tree, pedestal,
single-channel video projection, sound
Duration: 7:51 min
A video is projected on a stone that has been placed on a small pedestal, onto a branch hanging from the ceiling and a bucket and onto a wooden stick attached to the wall. While the video interacts with the objects, a soundtrack plays — powerfully triggering our imagination as we watch the piece evolve. The objects were all found in the desert around Scottsdale, Arizona, apart from the wooden stick that was from the storage of the Scottsdale Museum for Contemporary Art. SMoCA commissioned this piece, and Sæbjörnsson decided to work with his preconceived ideas about Arizona and with the mutual qualities of all places ( questioning notions of the unique ). He took objects that can be found in almost any place in the world — a plastic bucket, a wooden stick and a stone — and projected different kinds of images onto them to create various assumptions within the spectator. There is a figurative element, in which images of the desert landscape with its saguaro cactuses and “rocky mountains” interact with the objects. Another segment of the work is based on simple abstract forms that seem to change the nature of the objects. In this way “various projections” are used to create different interpretations of the same objects.
Installation and performance, Kölnischer Kunstverein
Duration: 25 min
The performance in three acts starts with the artist entering a room set up with three small stages. On the first stage is a small piano. Sæbjörnsson sits down at the piano and plays a song about delving into oneself to find treasures. Then, Sæbjörnsson stands up and reads an article about the “Development of a Positive Character” from a magazine. The second act takes place on the second stage, where there is a chair draped with a sheet. Sæbjörnsson walks to the chair, takes the sheet, covers himself and sits down on the chair. A video is then projected over him and the wall behind him, in which Sæbjörnsson walks to a table, sits down, eats carrot cake and drinks black tea. The video image fits exactly onto Sæbjörnsson’s figure hidden beneath the cloth, so that it appears as if he is there but not there at the same time. In the video he talks about how much he is enjoying this moment of solitude and relaxation in the middle of the day. The third part takes place on the third small stage, where there is a red box. Sæbjörnsson stands on the stage and a video with a character named Jörgen appears above the piano on stage one. Sæbjörnsson and Jörgen hold a conversation, in which Jörgen constantly wants to know what is inside this red box. Sæbjörnsson goes and removes one object after the other from inside the box. Each time Jörgen is very happy, because inside each object — whether a letter, a purse, a box, a boot or whatever — is a beautiful yellow flower. Jörgen’s goal is to get lots of flowers. In the end he is very successful, because a flower is hidden inside all the objects, and the flowers are gathered in a vase standing on a table near by. Sæbjörnsson says that the work is about practicing positive occurrences in life. He talks about these “positive occurrences” as a “life philosophy,” and he wants to show how ideas and ideologies can serve as the color pallets we use to paint the world we live in.
Installation, Ellen de Bruijne, Amsterdam
Drinking glass, glass bowl, bottle of Icelandic cod oil, candle,
pedestal, single-channel video projection, sound
Duration: 7:10 min
Glass objects and a candle are placed on a pedestal. A video beam hits the objects straight on and casts their shadows onto the wall behind. The outlines of the objects and the shadow of the smoke from the burning candle interact with an animated shadow of an imaginary ball, which dances from one object to the other. Like a flea, it jumps and flies from one object to the next. As it lands inside a bottle or touches the glass bowl we hear a sound of something knocking against the glass.
Installation, Lada Project, Berlin
Two glass objects, pedestal, single-channel video projection, sound
Duration: aprox 3:00 min
Two bottles stand on a pedestal and are lit from the side by video projection. In the background there is a soundtrack of Egill Sæbjörnsson singing, and something hitting a crystal can be heard each time a white ball hits the glass. It is a poetic installation
that plays with the perception of the objects, video image, sound, and music.
Installation, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg
Lamp, single-channel video projection, sound
Duration: aprox 3:00 min
The lamp stands up to a wall. It is turned off but there is a video projected on top of it so that it looks as if it is turned on. This creates a confusion between what we see and what we understand logically. We see a lamp that is turned on and off simultaneously.