Af Vopnum - De Arm (performance)
Exclusively Inclusive, Cycle Festival, Gerðarsafn 25.10.2018 - 06.01.2019
Curators: Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Sara S. Öldudóttir
Iceland's 1849 protest against its colonial powers was inspired by the 1848 uprisings in the Danish West-Indies. The colony's slaves were armed with fire and the plantation master’s chair was the first thing to be burned. Presented in the exhibition is a long-lost artefact, a sulphur match made from a wooden splinter carved from such a chair by the artist. This act of vandalism, the carving, took place earlier this year in an historical exhibition in Copenhagen where an intact colonial plantation chair was exhibited. Sulphur mines were the cornerstone of Denmark's trade monopoly in Iceland as sulphur was used for making gunpowder; a crucial component of nation-states' warfare. The sulphur match is presented as an igniter of geopolitical standpoints, involvements, responsibilities and shifts, related to the all-immersive smell of rotten eggs found on the island in the north.
On the opening of the exhibition, a performance lecture on sulphur was presented where slow matches were ignited. Slow matches are ropes that have been immersed in gunpowder and were used to control the ignition of gunpowder in order to prevent the combustion of nearby gunpowder. The double usage of gunpowder presented in the slow match refers to a loop, an uncanny relation with our surroundings and ecologies, where the snake bites its tail, a nonsensical burn.