Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson
The multidisciplinary artistic team Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson discuss art as a tool of disruption and mediation, how passivity is a weapon and how complex cross-disciplinary relationships can be managed.
For the last twenty years, the collaborative artist team, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson, have been practicing and producing in the field of contemporary art on an international stage with projects and exhibitions in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the USA. They have built a reputation, resonant in many fields – in contemporary art, animal studies, human geography, museology, the environmental sciences and more. In this respect, it has been their strategic intent to drive the idea that contemporary art is a significant voice, made possible by the application of unique blends of original methods and cross-disciplinary appropriation.
Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson’s artwork is multidisciplinary in nature, most usually taking the form of installation, involving anything from sculptural interventions, found objects and materials, video, audio, drawing, photography and texts. Notwithstanding their participation in International Biennales and major gallery shows, their adherence to the significance and advantage of site-specificity have often led them strategically to exhibit in some tiny and otherwise most obscure venues.
The production of their work is unashamedly driven and facilitated by intensive research and interdisciplinary associations, because as artists they consider art to be both the most promising platform and the most likely instrument by which the fusion and mutual complication or disturbance of traditionally discrete knowledge-fields will succeed in effecting significant and increasingly urgent cultural and behavioural change.
And change is the only show in town…
So, the lecture examines what it means in the context of crisis, (e.g. extinction, the Anthropocene), to consider and practice art as a tool of disruption and mediation, how passivity is a weapon and how complex cross-disciplinary relationships can effectively and otherwise, be productively managed.
As a consequence of their approach, through many projects, the artists have invested and directed their energies towards alliances and conversations across multiple fields in exhibitions, associated seminars and international conferences. For them, every exhibition made, is a provocation of sorts and is used to create opportunities for extending discourse, often between people who would otherwise rarely, if ever, engage. Over this time and as a consequence, they have exhibited and otherwise continue to be involved with many other internationally significant artists and theorists across the world.
Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson are a collaborative art partnership. Their interdisciplinary art practice is research-based and socially-engaged, exploring issues of history, culture and environment in relation to both humans and non-human species. Working very often in close consultation with experts and amateurs in the field, they use their work to test cultural constructs and tropes, and human behaviour in respect of ecologies, extinction, conservation and the environment. Underpinning much of what they do are issues of psychological and physical displacement or realignment in respect of land and environment and the effect of these positions on cultural perspectives.
Their artworks have been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally. They are frequent speakers at international conferences on their practice and related issues. Their works have been widely discussed in texts across many disciplinary fields and regularly cited as contributive to knowledge in the expanded field of research-based art practice. They conduct their collaborative practice from bases in Iceland, the north of England.
Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir is Professor of Fine Art at the Iceland University of the Arts, Reykjavík
Mark Wilson is Professor of Fine Art at the Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, UK
Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilsonare 2015-20 Polar Lab Artists-in-Residence with the Anchorage Museum, Alaska, USA, leading to the forthcoming solo exhibition. They are also the 2016-19 Artists-in-Residence at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, USA, leading to the forthcoming solo exhibition
About The INSIDE/OUT Lecture Series
This lecture was presented as part of the INSIDE/OUT series which offers historical, theoretical and critical analyses of the art, architecture and design. Organised by Professor Simon Morris from the School of Art, Architecture & Design, the series offers a platform for internationally recognised practitioners to come and talk about their practice. All events are open to all.