Foreword and acknowledgements

As the testimonials gathered in this book attest, the performances of The Icelandic Love Corporation carry with them a certain enchantment. Witnesses speak of an experience of magic and miracles, bewilderment and awe -- leavened with a sense of irony and knowingness. Full of mirrors, silk, kisses, pleasure, beauty and love, the performances are nothing if not captivating and entertaining. And they are always challenging.

It is a pleasure to present The ILC at the Reykjavik Art Museum’s Hafnarhús. The group has presented over 200 performances in Europe and USA but this exhibition provides the first overview of their work. A challenge that faces any exhibition of performance-based art is how to best convey the dynamic and experiential qualities of the original work retrospectively. Performance is an ephemeral medium, a live event that cannot be preserved and presented in the same way as conventional art forms.  For that reason, much thought and effort has been devoted to creating the most engaging and authentic experience for the visitors to the exhibition. Towards this end, The ILC partnered with THG Architects, Reykjavik, on an exhibition design that brings together sculptural remnants, objects, animations, video, photographs, drawings, posters, prints, and written notes from the original performances. Within the installation, The ILC’s works are ordered in a roughly chronological manner that gives sense of the group’s progress over the last eleven years while also providing a facsimile experience of each work.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Glitnir bank for their generous support of the exhibition and of this publication. Many thanks also to THG Architects for their in-kind contribution of the exhibition design. I am grateful to the collectors who have lent work to the exhibition and to The ILC’s gallery, i8, Reykjavik, for their help. Yean Fee Quay’s curatorial and editorial work is much appreciated and, last but not least, I thank the members of The ILC for their always inspiring work and for their thoughtful collaboration with the Museum on the production of this exhibition.

Hafþór Yngvason, Director
Reykjavík Art Museum

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