Each year i discover an artist who blows me away. Last year was Nathalie Djurberg. The year before, i fell in love with Gabríela Fridriksdóttir. After Versations Tetralogia installation at the Venice Biennale in 2005, and the exhibition Inside the Core at the Migros Museum Zurich last year, Fridriksdóttir is presenting Ouroboros, a new video work at the Spielhaus Morrison Galerie in Berlin.
The Ouroboros ("tail-devourer") is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. In ancient Egypt, it represented the sun and its eternal cyclical movement. Adopted by the Greeks, Romans and Norse as well as Hindu, Ashanti and Aztec, the meaning of the Ouroboros has widened to symbolise the cycle of life and death and by extension: infinity.
The artist describes the Ouroboros video as a journey through the seven vetebras of the snake, that together creates a universe of souls. For her, the meaning of life is all about people and being human, and it is with this focus that Fridriksdóttir produces her films, creating around the people that are close to her, friends and colleagues, who not only act but are also engaged as film crew. Following the performers through seven dreamlike scenes, Ouroboros circles associatively around the motives of birth and death, of departure and arrival, around the mutual relativity of being and ceasing to be, to express the core of the human soul.
To accompany the video, the gallery shows a few drawings, photos and paintings, as well as two installations.
The first installation is a kind of primitive house covered with dried fish, kelp and bread. The outside is very rough (and smelly) but as i turned all around the structure i discovered a small entry to a cozy little pink alcove with painted black motifs.
The second one is a round and dark room. On the floor is a painting of Oroboros and on the walls are the portraits of the protagonists of the video.
It is as eerie, poetic and puzzling as usual but i found the work much softer than the spooky Versations Tetralogia. Each time i see her work i also remember that she directed one of Björk´s videos, Where is the Line. These two girls make me want to book a trip to Iceland and check if everything over there is as wild and unearthly as their work is.
Ouroboros runs through November 3 at the Spielhaus Morrison Galerie, Berlin.
I made my usual crappy images.