Ráðhildur Ingadóttir
11. 03. 2005 - 03. 04. 2005

An interview with Rádhildur Ingadóttir in February 2005
On account of her exhibition in The Living Art Museum - 13.11 - 12.12 Reykjavík
Interview taken by Margrét Blöndal.

MBl.:Rádhildur, can you tell us about the title of your work:
Inside a conch shell, one pixel ?

RI: This is something I have been working on for some years. The conch shell can mean time, f. inst million, thousand, hundred years or just a few earth years. It is like a frame around my art and within that frame anything can happen.

MBl:: Why are you so occupied with the conch shell? (would a rose or a hollow stone be the same?)

RI: When I hold a conch shell in my hand I feel I am holding at a small cosmos.
I feel time, growth rhythm, the rotation of the earth, order and chaos. A rose could be considered because it gives a hint of all this but it stays but a short time and therefore I can not have it with me like the conch shell. A (baggalútur) hollow stone has all this too but it does not show it as clearly as the conch shell.

MBl: What part do dreams play in your art?

RI: When I had been working on my art for quite some years I realised that dreams I had dreamt long ago were connected to what I was doing in my artwork. Therefore I decided to reconstruct a few dreams in video and examine them closely.

MBl: You refer quite often to your dreams. Are they a way to break the bonds of the dimensions that is definable?

RI: I don´t know. All I know is that my dreams are half of my existance.

MBl.: Your work seems to be divided into two different systems one of which is timelessness and the other half is chaos. Are these two systems inseparable?

RI: Yes, this is a whole. When you feel this timelessness or chaos, you are in fact finding a system. Your are simply in a different place. When f. ex. we gaze into space we find chaos and timelessness but if we go to the other side of the galaxy and watch it from the outside we find a system i.e. a spiral.

MBl: In your video the viewer becomes one with the universe; - are there some hidden hints about
1. our limitation as intellectual beings
2. our obsession to systemize
3. our tendency to organize everything

RI: I don’t know.. One thing is certain, it is difficult for us to trust something that we don’t understand.
When I was ten years old I dreamt that I was roaming in space, flying in the universe and watching the world. I was frightened but at the same time I felt a desire to stay there longer. – For many years after I felt dizzy when I thought about this dream.

MBl: Don’t you feel dizzy in all these immense spaces? What do you hold on to?

RI: Sometimes I am frightened..
But I cling to my art.

Second half:

MBL: Rádhildur. Has the conch shell revolved? Have we entered into another pixel?

RI: I don’t think so. The conch shell is like the universe. We experience different kinds of reality depending on where we are placed in it. The same with the pixel which has many layers where different events are happening.

MBl: On the first level is a peculiar mixture of void and mass. Could you tell us something about these two components? Is it necessary that the mass is wax? Could it be something else?

RI: Mass and void is the same thing. Neither could exist without the other. Mass is just another form of void. And void is another form of mass. This installation is an environment from a dream. It is important that wax has the quality of changing easily into the other part of the mass i.e. the void. It is somewhere between liquid and solid, it melts and burns easily. Also, it gives me a good feeling that this exhibition will not become rubbish when it is over as the wax can be reused. It is easier for me to make sculptures and installations when I know that the world will not have to be burdened with the rubbish left from me in the future.

MBl: On the one hand you seem to have the tendency to dissolve limited space like the space which you work with and on the other hand you are making small limited worlds with your video work. Tell us something about these two components, that is to reduce and to expand.

RI: When I dissolve the space by painting it as I did in The Living Art Museum last autumn or make a wax installation like I am experimenting with now, I perceive myself in a different place in reality. This is like getting into an other layer of the pixel, I experience reality from another point. Somewhat like when people get my letters about the loop movement of the planets. The letters draw their attention to space. Those who receive the letters are suddenly placed in another place in reality. I am not making a circumscribed world with my video. I am dealing with the same reality as in the dissolved space, but from another point of view which requires another medium.

MBL: What significance has it for your exhibition that it extends into different rooms?

RI: I think it enhances your feeling for the complexity of reality

MBl: Dreams are something you can store in a safe corner in your mind. They often signify veiled messages of a person’s inner life. Is this your subconcious that we are invited to attend?

RI: I don’t know. The dreams just exist. I retell them as I remember them, make use of the feeling they leave behind. I do not interpret my dreams. I simply experience them. They are a part of my existence. They have played an important role in my choice of subject-matter in art through the years, that is why I am examining them closely.

MBl: How do you pick out the dreams you exhibit, have they been censored?

RI: It is not so long ago since I started working with my dreams the way I am doing now. I had to practice new methods of working so that some of the dreams presented here are selected out according to whether they are easy or difficult to perform. Apart from that, I choose the dreams depending on how strongly they live with me into the day.

MBl: Is the conch shell in constant motion?

RI: Everything is in constant motion.

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