ÍVAR BRYNJÓLFSSON: Myndir frá forsetaframboði 1996


Occasionally exhibitions offer speculations about the nature of the medium which the artist has chosen to work with; what is its nature, how does it tie in with the subject matter and how does it relate to the times and the changing attitude?

These and some other questions are brought up in the show of Ívar Brynjólfsson, where the medium is black and white photography. Ívar has held three private exhibitions and participated in some group shows, where he has applied this medium in a rather unusual manner.

The series of photographs that are now on display at Gallery Ingólfsstraeti 8 stem from the presidential campaign in 1996. Judging from the title of the show, one would expect to see pictures of lively rallies, beautiful candidates, smiling children and singing supporters. This is the image that flares up in our minds when we think about candidates and elections.

There is no indication, however, of the hullabaloo and glamour we normally associate with such events in Ívar Brynjólfsson's photographs. There is no human presence, only the state of waiting which the candidates must endure. Uneasy tranquillity looms over these pictures, where expectations - or desperation - almost become palpable. Waiting is the most conspicuous part of the set-up: coffee machines, plastic cups, crackers, cookies, sodas, and soft drink dispensers wait for the crowds to arrive; announcements, postcards and posters wait to be mailed and phones wait to be answered. Flowers in windows and candles on tables are transformed into a symbol of the hopes evoked by the campaign, and either blossomed or got extinguished when the results were in.

by Eiríkur Thorláksson
(Morgunblaðið, August 27, 1996)