The Decade


Markús Þór Andrésson on Gretar Reynisson’s exhibition:

The festival’s featured artist is Gretar Reynisson, whose show, “The Decade,” at The Living Art Museum and the adjacent Artíma gallery, represents ten years of his life, presented in public for the first time. At the turn of the century, Gretar made the decision to withdraw from exhibition and, in essence, live his life as a series of systematic, repetitive artistic gestures. The piece “52 Shirts” is a rack from which hang the identical white dress shirts Gretar wore every day for a year, switching out one for another every week. The approach is rigorous and mathematical, but also physical—you see that the shirts are worn out, with sweat stains and smudges.

It will be quite a challenge to accurately represent ten years of work in a ten-day festival, but in a sense that gap, between life as lived and as documented, or even as remembered, promises to weigh heavily on the show. Memory is a key concept within “Kept but Forgotten,” a tableau of small-custom-built boxes— it’s like a landscape, like looking onto Manhattan —each containing an object, like a dead computer mouse or inkless pen, which had exhausted its function in Gretar’s life. He says that he stops remembering what’s in each box.