Margrét Helga Sesseljudóttir

FutureGreat 2014, selected by Ragnar Kjartansson

By Ragnar Kjartansson

Margrét Helga Sesseljudóttir, Unstable Interior Postponed, Transportation of Nothing, 2013 (installation view, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art). Photo: Attila Urban. Courtesy the artist

Margrét Helga Sesseljudóttir is an artist who derives a direct link from the corporeal art of such greats as Carolee Schneemann. Margrét uses the carnal to radiate a fine-tuned melancholic and sculptural presence in her work. She works with performance, photographs, found objects, painting, etc arranged in sculptural compositions. There is something deeply personal and real about her work. She is a songwriter of soul who puts unspoken longing into form. A self-portrait taken from a flat angle in a solarium – purple flesh. The photograph is glued to a plastic tent. Then there is a pipe that connects the photo to a gold-sprayed structure that resembles a glittering chariot. A glowing piece.

Then there is a really powerful and emotional installation in a conference room, in which she is lying face-down on a leather IKEA sofa, perfectly still in a fixed, sculpted position for hours, wearing white panties and white tennis socks. The sofa is full of small white jelly puddings. The room is scattered with fragile, personal and humorous sculptures. Then the centrepiece of that installation is an enlarged photograph of a man masturbating in a small family car in Reykjavík: the photo was taken from above (Margrét was in a bus and took the photo at a red light). Everything is somehow soft, small and moist in this room. With all the artificial materials and oddities in her works, there is a remarkably calm sense of everything being exactly as it should be: nothing is forced, it all feels so natural. These works are behind words. Indeed, she is a mute when is comes to explaining them, clad in a glittery fur. This is stuff coming from a special place, going who-knows-where, but it could be the start of something spectacular.

Originally published in the March 2014 FutureGreats issue, in association with EFG International