The eye is an unreliable source. Our perception is shaped by language and the structures that frame our realities; social, economic, political, temporal, spatial, material. But these structures and their monuments are just as unstable as our perspective on them. Gestsdóttir's objects and movements ask to be released from History and its obsession with uniformity and absolute truths. Their desire is to be free from the mythological, the traditional and the triumphant.



Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir

Dates of residency: November – December 2016
Born: 1975
Hometown: Reykjavík, Iceland
Lives and works: Reykjavík, Iceland
URL:  http://ragnheidurgestsdottir.net
MFA Fine Arts, Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, New York (2010-2012), MFA Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts, New York (2009-2010, one year completed), MA Visual Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London (200-2001), BA Anthropology, University of Iceland, Reykjavík (1996-1999)

Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir is an artist heavily influenced by her background in visual anthropology, a subject that deals critically with the staging of culture and identity, and the production of objects and images, their representation and re-representation. In her work she critically explores power structures and the human desire for uniformity and absolute truths, and their inherent failure by revealing the poetic, broken and absurd aspects of those systems and truths. Her installations, films, objects and images dance on the line between fact and fiction in their dealing with the impossibility of translations - be it across languages, cultures, times or places. 


Exhibitions include KINGDOM; Flora, Fauna, Fable, The Reykjavík Art Museum (2016), The Future We Remember, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, USA, Speak Nearby, Soloway, NY (2015), The Heart Beat, Doma International Art Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria (2015), Let me tell you a story, Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg, Sweden (2015), Big Bang, What a Thang, Kunstschlager, Reykjavík, Iceland (solo - 2014), Time and Time and Again, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland (2014), Loco Motion, Sequences Arts Festival, Iceland (solo - 2013) and Without Destination, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland (2012).

Ragnheiður received a 3 month salary from the Icelandic state in 2017 and 6 months in 2016, is a three time recipient of The Icelandic Visual Arts Fund (2016, 2015, 2013), was awarded a grant from the Guðmunda Andrésdóttir Memorial Fund and from the American Scandinavion Foundation in 2010 and has received funding from the Icelandic Film Institute on several occations (2005, 2007, 2008, 2013). She was an Artist-in-Residence at Beirut Art Residency in 2016, at The Banff Centre in 2013 and at the Skaftfell Residency Program in Seyðisfjörður in 2013 and 2015.