Páll Haukur Björnsson
Work for Live Art Denmark
2012: Performance at Samtalekøkken
At Samtalekøkken in October 2012 Páll presented a remote control performance. He got Jens Bäckvall, a Danish artist collegue, to try to climb a mountain of loosely stacked books in his place as a stand in. While a loud discussion was going on in the main space, Jens quietly tried again and again to scale the fragile mountain, re-stacked the books that fell off, and tried again, finally reaching out for two signs high up on the walls of Nikolaj Kunsthal that read “Enlightenment” and “Pussy”. Which of these two goals he strived to reach (or maybe both), remained for the audience to decide, as the signs stayed out of Jens’ reach, even as he raised the top of the mountain by stacking on more books.
About the Artist
With his art Páll Haukur (b. 1981) tries to break away from and interrogate any given notions of meaning by asking what constitutes an object. His drawings and sculptures are often what he likes to call “unstable objects”, or works of art that aim at complicating the relations that defines them. His work represents change or flux, either through its relationship to the body in space or through the material condition of the work itself – often using biological substances like honey or mycelium as parts of the sculptural practice. The result is an aesthetic experience that constantly asks the viewer to situate and re-situate herself in relation to object and space as Páll Haukur aims to compromise the semiological boundaries between a person and an object, between a thing and thing.
Playing with boundaries and definitions is a practice where the artistic self is as much a suspect in the interrogative process as is its products. Resulting in a versatile but distinct body of work, Páll Haukur’s process ranges from the minimal to the maximal, the deterministic to the arbitrary, often mixing the two together with unforeseen consequences.
Páll Haukur studied at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and the California Institute of the Arts where he graduated with a MFA in 2013. With a focus on drawing, sculpture and performance, his installations have been shown in Iceland, Europe and the US since 2008. He lives and works in Reykjavík.
See some more works on Páll’s website.