Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir is the second artist chosen to participate in the ASÍ Art Museum’s new series showcasing the latest works in the museum’s collection. Hildigunnur’s exhibitions in Garðabær and the Westman Islands will open and close concurrently and have the same title in both locations. Though at first glance the exhibitions seem very similar, their content in many ways reflects the society specific to each place and indeed the specific buildings in which they are sited. UNIVERSAL SUGAR in the Westman Islands and Garðabær are indeed the same exhibition, in that UNIVERSAL SUGAR can have countless manifestations and these are only two of them. Their framing in two very dissimilar spaces, each from its own era and carrying its own history, heightens the effect.
Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir's practice can be seen as an exploration of complex systems through simple or naïve interfaces. Playing with the tensions between our need to create abstract systems of knowledge and the physical limitations of our own systems of perception, Birgisdóttir’s work wryly reveals the imperfections, eccentricities, and elements of the nonsensical at the intersection of the ideal and human understanding. These intrusions are not only welcome but fundamental to Birgisdóttir’s work, situating us, unexpectedly, at the centre of our universe.