Gabríela Friðriksdóttir

Ars Fennica candidate 2013

The art of the strange installation

Gabríela Friðriksdóttir’s works are often described, with some justification, as multi-sensory and as combining various contemporary-art techniques. She brings together drawing, painting, video and sculpture, and also collaborates with other artists. The starting points for Friðriksdóttir’s works lie in Icelandic mythology, occultism, and the experimental-film tradition. As a result, works emerge whose strangeness and extraordinariness bring viewers to a standstill, and prompt them to ponder what they mean. Friðriksdóttir is a contemporary alchemist, whose works induce a restlessness and a tingling sensation in their viewers. It is also highly appropriate that she combines in them mythical, sexual, comic and frightening elements in a way that reminds us of dream or fantasy-film realities. Gabríela Friðriksdóttir’s images also fuse together the realms of pop culture and high art. More is more, and the viewer’s excited anticipation and uncertainty are not necessarily ever resolved in unequivocal fashion, rather, our confusion carries on from one work to the next. This being the case, the feeling is the same as it is for the contemporary individual when faced with a medieval manuscript that, as expected, contains the written text itself, but also a lot that is totally unexpected – possibly even an entire worldview.

Juha-Heikki Tihinen, PhD

Born in 1971, Reykjavík


1988-92 The Reykjavik Junior College
1993-94 RYMI School of Art, Reykjavik
1994-97 The Icelandic Academy of Art, Reykjavík. Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture
1998 Academie Vytvarnich Umenie, 6 month Scholarship to The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague


Crepusculum, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, DE

Tetralogia, Turku Art Museum, FI

Performance in the exhibition Life? Biomorphic Shapes in Sculpture, Kunsthaus Graz, AT
Coagula, Flowers of Evil Still Bloom, Cueto Project, New York, US
The Black Spider, Schauspielhaus/Migros Museum, Zürich, CH
Ouroboros, Bob von Oursow Gallery, Zürich, CH

Ouroboros, Spielhaus-Morrison Gallery, Berlin
Inside the Core/Tetralogia, Void gallery, Derry, North Ireland
Tetralogia, Teikningar/Drawings, Prospectif Cinema at Centre Pompidou, Paris

Inside the Core, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, CH
Versations Tetralogia, Reykjavik Art Museum

Versations Tetralogia, Iceland’s Pavillion, Venice Biennial, IT
Operazione Oesophagus, Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland.


Melankolia, Spielhaus Morrison Galerie, Berlin
Katharsis, i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

Teikningar/Drawings, Galerie Schön, Bochum, DE
Operazione Pathetico, Circuit 7, CCCB, Barcelona, ES
Ouroboros/Inside the Core, National Gallery, Reykjavík

Operazione Dramatica, Gerdarsafn Museum, Kapavogur, IS

Animal Inside Animal Outside, Gallery Saevar Karl, Reykjavik
Art and Real Estate, Husvangur Real Estate Office, Reykjavik

Operazione Dramatica, Gerdarsafn Museum, Kapavogur,IS

Are You Ready to Rock II, The Old Warehouse, Westmann-Islands, IS
Are You Ready to Rock I, Gallery Slunkariki, Isafjordur, IS
Persons and Feelings, Gallery Saevar Karl, Reykjavik

The Nameless One, Gallery 20m2, Reykjavik
S.A.L.T.A.R.I, The Icelandic Academy of the Arts, Reykjavik


Bloody Crepuscular Monstrous Rays, 5th Biennial of Moving Image, Contour, Mechelen, BE
Visionaire No.59, Fairytale, New York, US

Transformation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Scene shifts, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
Transaquania into Thin Air, Reykjavik City theater
Coloursynthesis, Hafnarhus, Reykjavik Art Museum

Possibilities, Hafnarhus, Reykjavik Art Museum
Transaquania -Out of the Blue, The Blue Lagoon, IS
Mythologies, Haunch of Venison, London
Kings, Gods & Mortals, Hamish Morrison Gallery, Berlin

Life? Biomorphic Shapes in Sculpture, Kunsthaus Graz, AT
Nuit Blanche, Maison Rouge, Paris
Tree of Signs, Gabriela Fridriksdottir & MM/Paris, Urridaholt, Reykjavik

Ouroboros/Inside the Core, gallery i8, Art-Forum, Berlin
La Chaine, BankArt 1929, Yokohama, JP
Wuppertal, DE
Ausgezeichnet, Kunstverein Freiburg, DE
Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Te Thui-The Mark, Auckland, NZ

Through the Looking Glass, Gallery Bob van Orsouw, Zürich, CH
Remember Who You Are, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, US

Sketch in Motion, Sketch Gallery, London
I Still Believe in Miracles II, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
To Samekh, Water Events-Horizontal Memories Yoko Ono, Astrup Fearnly Museum, Oslo

Noonday demons, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, UK
Parallele 64, Art Contemporain Islandais, Espace d’Art Contemporaine Gustave Fayet, Sérignan, FR
Les Spectacles Vivants, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Drawings, Loveless, Minami Aoyama Minato-Ku, Tokyo
Where Do We Go from Here, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, US
Ice, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, BE
Sons and Dottir, Tentplaza Center for Visual Art, Rotterdam, NL

Behind the Eyes, Bergen Kunsthall, NO
Breadhead / Operazione Poetica II, Woolenmaiden Hus, Project Arts Center, Dublin
Teikningar/Drawings, Prague Biennale
Operazione Poetica IV, Billboard Project, Amager Landevey, Copenhagen
Over the Bridge of Optimism, Reykjavik Art Museum

My Body is Over the Ocean-The Sea, Alma Löv Museum, Östra Ämtervik, SE
Operazione Poetica, Skaftfell Cultural Center, Seydisfjordur, IS
Operazione Poetica, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik

Sculptures by Silfurtun, Specific site project, Gardabaer, IS

Sovereignity, Gerdarsafn, Museum of Kopavogur, IS
Occurrence, Sputnik, Hverfisgata, Reykjavik
The Seven Cardinal Virtues, Old and New, Thingvellir National Park, IS
Orgasm 2000, The Museum of Art, Akureyri, IS

Maggogabb Inc. Present: Art, Gallery 101, Reykjavik
Iceland Bone in a Swedish Sock, Gallery 54, Gothenburg, SE

Station to Station, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik
-30 + 60, The Municipal Museum, Reykjavik