Difficulty of Freedom / Freedom of Difficulty

Difficulty of Freedom / Freedom of Difficulty
Author: Erla Haraldsdottir & Academy of Fine Arts Umeå University (eds.)
Publisher: Crymogea
Language: English
Pages: 84
Size: 14 x 20 cm
Weight: 202 g
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 9789935420435
Availability: In stock
Price: €20.00
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Product Description

Imagine you agree to receiving, and responding to, a ‘task’ every few days for a certain duration. Imagine that then you receive a first task: ‘Find an old tree and listen to it’. Your response could be to make a trip to the forest at the edge of town, or it could be to make a phone call to a friend in another city who gathers trunks of trees felled by lightning from roadside municipal auctions and makes tables from them.
What you choose to unlock a task also activates a web of relations, makes you more co-dependent.
Simultaneously, you agree to give someone else tasks. There are rules, or a reference that is in common. In this instance, it is the Tree of Life. You give the task: ‘Back to the roots: Make a new work by combining an old work with one of your latest works’.
Every constraint — whether of the reference in common, or of the task you receive — is also an invitation to wit, intelligence, laughter, and solidarity with another.
‘Difficulty of Freedom / Freedom of Difficulty’ documents the artistic research project undertaken in 2014 by the artists Erla Haraldsdóttir and Carin Ellberg with artists and students of the Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University (Sweden) and School of Fine Arts (Reykjavik/Iceland). For a few months, all those involved gave tasks to, and received tasks from, another person in the group (which ultimately culminated in an exhibition together). In her essay in this book, Erla traces her own route to this method – piecing together her time in the 90s as an exchange student and teaching assistant, and her many subsequent collaborations, and back to the OULIPO group of the 1960s.
Much like the method, the tasks, and the works they engender, carry an image, a resonance of another – people, ideas, places, stories, journeys.
Co-dependency, constraint, and resonance displace genius, inspiration, and autonomy, giving breath to a radical ethic for this, our new, century (Shveta Sarda).

Year: 2014
Art Direction:
 Ariane Spanier

Design: Stephie Becker
Texts: Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, Birta Guðjónsdóttir, Craniv Boyd, Dr. Roland Spolander, Jonatan Habib Engqvist