Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir

Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir

Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir's works are the result of long-term dedication and research and touch upon socio-economic issues in a personal way without being didactic.

Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir is a contemporary visual artist and a filmmaker born in Reykjavík but based in Berlin. She works predominately on long-term interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects that manifest themselves artistically as creative documentaries or immersive complex mixed-media installations including video works.

Her interest in the working people and special technology otherwise rarely perceived by the public does not serve any direct ideology, but an aesthetic visualization first and foremost. They often include performance and intervention of some kind and are highly personal but never didactic.

Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir holds an MA degree in interactive design from Middlesex University (2001) and BA in visual art from Iceland Academy of the Arts (2007) and BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Iceland (1997). She has won many awards. Most recently the Gudmunda award of excellence for Icelandic female artists in 2019. She has staged solo exhibitions in e.g. Berlinische Galerie in Berlin (12 x 12 program), Reykjavik Art Museum and ASI Art Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland but also at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin where she was an artist-in residence for one year 2018-2019. She has also participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions and screenings at galleries, project spaces and film festivals in countries such as India, Japan, Hong Kong, USA, Mexico, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Spain, UK, Czech Republic, France, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

Keep Frozen part zero

HD Video / 00:46 min / 2013

Material Puffin

HD Video / 06:28 min / 2014

In ‘Material Puffin’ the artist revisits a character that he had used in a work from 2006: ‘Don´t Feed Them After Midnight. The cult of the cute gremlin puffin’. It was timely to let the ‘artist as puffin’ character resurface as the issue that was being addressed back then had become more visible and more talked about. Back then the first puffin teddies, souvenirs had been surfacing, unnoticed by most. In retrospect the work was thus a prophecy of the process that was about to take course in Reykjavik. Fast forwarding to the most recent work, Keep Frozen artistic research project, the artist as puffin was led out to play once again but this time being lost in the gentrified Reykjavik harbour where artists are playing key role in the gentrification process.

The gentrification process of downtown Reykjavik has exhilarated in the last five years or so in a highly visible process where shops and services downtown that catered to the local population have been replaced by shops and services catering for tourists. What has come to become the symbol for this change is the Puffin or more precisely the phrase ‘Puffin shops’ referring to overstuffed shop windows where puffins in all shape and sizes and customs have aggressively taken over the sight at eye level. What is interesting is that the puffin was never important in the psyche of the Icelandic identity or nationalistic narrative. It was thrusted upon Icelanders from the outside as the most important authenticity symbol of the country. A puffin teddy is used to characterize the experience of the visit although actual puffins are not really anywhere in sight, largely due to their decreasing numbers.