Steypa

Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson

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DIRECTOR Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson
PRODUCER Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson
DOP Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson
SCRIPT Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson
SOUND Markús Þór Andrésson, Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, T. Terressa Tate
MUSIC Ólafur Björn Ólafsson, Ragnar Kjartansson
EDITOR Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, Markús Þór Andrésson
RELEASE 2007
LENGTH 67
GENRE Documentary

Synopsis

Emerging artists working in their hometown Reykjavík and abroad share with the viewers the diverse processes that spark a work of art. Threading a line between realism and performance, the film explores inspiration and creativity through an intimate two-year collaboration with seven artists, providing an insight into a booming scene. Pouring Coke into empty Fanta bottles, Ásmundur asks himself “What is art?” suggesting that it is embedded in what an artist does. Accordingly, rather that focusing on the end product, the film deals with what the artist is up to before it comes to that. Gabríela kneads dough and smears on her face, Margrét is enchanted by gaskets in a rubber store, Huginn has his hair cut off and turned into a wig, Unnar rummages for plant cuttings in a home for the elderly, The Icelandic Love Corporation recreates Van Gogh’s Starry Night in liquorice and Kartín builds a small model of a house only to throw it off a bigger one. What is behind this commotion? Has Iceland anything to do with it? Does it concern the rest of us? The title, STEYPA, is borrowed from the artworks by one of the seven participating artists. It literally means “concrete” and is Ásmundur’s favorite sculpture material but it is also a word used in Icelandic for weird stuff or jargon. The composer and rock musician Ólafur Björn Ólafsson creates the soundtrack and three young and prominent designers create the graphics. The artists and creative team are all born between 1967 and 1976, situated in Reykjavík, Berlin, Brussels, Vienna, London, New York and Atlanta. Other interviewees, involved in or familiar with the Icelandic art scene are among others the curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gregory Volk, the musician Bjork, and the artist Roni Horn. Together with friends and relatives of the artists they frame the phenomena of Icelandic contemporary art within the international scene and raise questions that apply generally to lives dedicated to creativity.

Director

Ragnheidur Gestsdóttir (b. 1975) graduated with an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College in 2001. She has produced programs about art and culture for television in Iceland and London based DVD magazine Specialten. She has made some documentaries about different visual artists and musicians, including 3 films about Icelandic singer Björk whom she´s worked with closely over the last few years. She is co-editor and founder of Icelandic DVD magazine Rafskinna and is currently working on a film about Icelandic artist Hreinn Fridfinnsson and a feature length documentary Vikings in the Wild West, a road movie about the fake and the authentic amongst people of Nordic heritage in the US, coproduced by Radiator Film in Denmark. She lives and works in New York City. Markús Þór Andrésson (b. 1975) graduated with an MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2007. He graduated as a studio artist from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001 and has been working as an artist, writer and curator since. He has worked intermittently for radio and television and been part of the creative team behind several art related documentaries. He is currently writing for different catalogues and magazines, running an experimental exhibition space and working with Icelandic and international museums and galleries. He lives and works in Berlin.
 

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