Örn Alexander Ámundason
Works for Live Art Denmark
2012 “Chews” at Samtalekøkken
2014 “Speculations on the Impact of Kurt Cobain” at Samtalekøkken
2015 “Smear” at Live art for Kids 2
2017 “Smear” at Live Art for Børn S/H
2021 “Chews” recreation for the Nordic edition of Playing Up.
Örn Alexander performed “Chews” at Samtalekøkken in December 2012. In a witty if slightly disgusting comment on processes of art production, he produced sculptural portraits of our audience by throroughly chewing cookies. For the first time in his performance work, he invited members of the audience to join him, and eight people accepted. Equipped with packets of biscuits, latex gloves and ceramic tiles, the artist asked each participant to pose, while he walked around them chewing the biscuits. After a while, he placed the featureless mass sculpted in his mouth on a ceramic tile. One by one, the participants posed as the artist delivered his unique little sculptures.
All Photos Gert van der Pumperlei
Speculations on the Impact of Kurt Cobain
In April 2014, we invited Örn Alexander back to Samtalekøkken, where he presented a version of his performance lecture about Kurt Cobain, which turns out to be more about the pitfalls of holding a performance lecture, and demonstrates all the things that can go wrong with it, in spite of starting over several times.
Örn Alexander’s performance “Smear” was presented at two of our Live art for Kids festivals, first in Kristianstad and Ystad in 2015, and then again in Copenhagen, for the first time to Danish audiences. “Smear” is another comment on the process of making art, and again, it turns out slightly disgusting. The aim of the performance is the production of a painting, the most iconic form of making art. Still true to traditional art production, a mid-sized canvas is prepared to serve as the background for the painting, propped up on an easel. Alas, this is were the classical ends. As his painting medium, Örn Alexander chooses his own snot, producing booger after booger out of his own nose. Audiences watched in awe and consternation.
Photos by Ellen Friis and Gert van der Pumperlei
After the performance we asked the children in the audience to draw the performance as a starting point for discussions. Some of the results can be seen below.
Playing Up: Chews
We found that the idea to Örn Alexander’s performance “Chews”, which he presented at Samtalekøkken in 2012, was an ideal template for recreation by children and their adults who play our performance game “Playing Up”. All it requires to remake the performance are a few cookies, a stable stomach, and lots of imagination. The task is to stuff your mouth full of cookies and chew them until they resemble the person you are creating a sculpture of. As soon as the wowrk is finished, abstract or figurative as it may be, it is spat out and arranged on a piece of paper, replete with the title of the work and the artist’s signature.
About the Artist
Örn Alexander Ámundason is an icelandic performance artist, who lives and works in Malmö, Sweden. He produces humoristic and powerful images with simple means, and is also influenced by the old icelandic traditions of singing and songwriting.
See more of Örn’s work on his website.