Dýrfinna‘s solo show Life lessons opens on Saturday 23rd of April in Listval, Grandi. The inspiration for the exhibition was found in the classroom, old notebooks and school literature. In this exhibition Dýrfinna looks back on memories from childhood and the feeling of being stuck in the school system, daydreaming and craving freedom. Still we follow the system and wait patiently for summer, for freedom, but when school is out the cold reality takes over that doesn’t compare to our classroom daydreams. We look back on these moments that had such a big impact on many of us. With her work Dýrfinna takes us into a dreamy memory where familiar items take on a slightly abnormal form. Dýrfinna’s ideas are manifested in paintings, drawings and sculptures in steel and wood. The viewers are participants that can mirror their own memories in these works and hopefully look at their own journey in a new light. The project has an emphasis on close collaboration between all participants and especially worth mentioning is the creative dialogue between Dýrfinna and Steinarr Ingólfsson.

This exhibition marks the end of Björk Hrafnsdóttir‘s M.A. in curatorial practice at the Icelandic University of the Arts. During the last two years Björk has been developing her approach as a curator with emphasis on close collaboration and dialogue as the main tool for curating. A conversation between two or more persons can result in a unique creation of knowledge, that draws from the personal experience and cultural background of the participants. In order for an unhindered creation of knowledge to take place, Björk believes that the values caring, mutual respect and trust, which she refers to as the soft values, must be acknowledged. When these values are respected they can contribute to an open and honest conversation that is particularly suitable when sensitive topics or personal histories are the subject of the exhibition. 

In this conversation three individuals took part: the artist Dýrfinna Benita Basalan, graphic designer Steinarr Ingólfsson and curator Björk Hrafnsdóttir.

Dýrfinna Benita Basalan (b.1992), also known as Countess Malaise, is born and raised in Iceland. In 2018 she graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academie with a B.A. in Art and Design and has had an active artistic practice and worked across various media. In her practice she draws inspiration from different countercultures, manga, queer culture and her personal experiences as a mixed race person. Dýrfinna is one of the three members of the art group Lucky 3, along with Melanie Ubaldo and Darren Mark. Lucky 3 won the motivational award  of the Icelandic Art Prize in 2022.

Steinarr Ingólfsson (b.1993) is born and raised in Reykjavík. He graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academie with a B.A. degree in art and design in 2017. Since graduation he has worked as a graphic designer for various cultural initiatives, art groups and fashion brands. Steinarr resides in Paris where he has been working in print- and product design for the fashion house Balenciaga since 2019.

Björk Hrafnsdóttir (b.1993) is from Reykjavík and has a B.A. degree in Art Theory from the University of Iceland and Sorbonne IV in France. She is finishing her master’s degree in Curatorial Practice from the Icelandic University of the Arts where her focus has been on works based on artist‘s personal histories, feminist art and curatorial activism. As a curator Björk puts emphasis on intimate collaboration with artists and dialogue as a method for extracting knowledge.