Artists’ Books and Networks

Nordic House 18 May – 17 June 2012
In conjunction with Art in Translation and (I)ndependent People: Collaborations and
Artist Initiatives, Reykjavík Arts Festival

Some fifty years ago a movement arose of artists who focused on the production of books as artworks. They exchanged books by mail and thus created a transnational
network to foster radical new ideas on art, society and culture. Some Icelandic artists, led by Dieter Roth and Magnús Pálsson, were quick to embrace this new art form, thus laying the groundwork for a tradition that later generations of artists have used to disseminate their art and nurture communication with progressive artists around the world. This exhibition examines this important aspect of contemporary Icelandic art, revealing the important role that artists’ books played in ending the isolation of Icelandic artists and allowing them to become active participants in the international avant-garde.

The exhibition is set up in conjunction with Art in Translation, 24 – 26 May 2012,
a three-day international event where scholars and artists of all kinds deal with texts
through lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and performances. The aim is to create an
interdisciplinary forum to explore the connections between language and various art
forms. This year the emphasis is on creative writing.