Sara Björnsdóttir – Nono Lisa

This is a speculation and a feeling of an artist about the existence of artists like herself and the culture within Icelandic society. A small society that often seems unconscious of a larger context and other cultural perspectives:

A certain cultural level reflects the need for art and culture – for the soul and the internal to constrict and push a person out in search of beauty, purpose, and meaning – and the ability to perceive subtle nuances of the environment. Icelandic cultural life is rich and not impoverished because of Icelandic artists’ driven, unrelenting need for creation and the joy they take in creating. The creation of art is a spiritual pursuit that takes places in the artist’s subconscious mind. The artist proffers work, guided by a force or desire to which he or she is often oblivious, but that exerts a strong influence and offers hints that the artist trusts.

The work Nono Lisa is an original. An original that contains a reproduction. A reproduction that would not exist except for the birth of the original, the most famous artwork in the world put in a work shed–turned cultural center. In creating the work Nono Lisa, art envy and cultural reluctance were on the artist’s mind. Art envy can be compared to the Freudian notion of penis envy. It suggests that one feels oneself to be lacking something and realizes that one has neither innate artistic ability nor the capacity to achieve a connection with art and, as a result, turns against artists and art. This envy is an unconscious and aggressive urge. To wish to be an artist oneself but at the same time have the desire to exterminate other artists and art. Cultural reluctance is an ambiguous term. There are culturally reluctant people, and one can say that Icelandic society is in a state of cultural reluctance. It is also possible to suffer from cultural reluctance, to feel anguish as a result of the cultural level of the society.

Sara Björnsdóttir

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