Hops Hopsi

10 channel video and mixed media installation (2010)

 

Premiered and produced at PROGRAM – initiative for art and architecture collaborations, Berlin, January 2010 [link] , curated by Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigogga and Carson Chan. Produced by Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga.

Installation photographs by Rut Sigurdardottir

The exhibition catalogue.

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The indoor exhibition reached out to the street via massive 'gummy bear' relief referring to stained glass windows of churches. The relief was backlit casting a shade of colour on the snowy pavement. The relief was made out of transparent coloured gummy bear candy in the yellow to orange colour range and depicted the character from the videos, a young Lucky Luke as a business man lost in Spreepark.

The audiences walked into a backstage environment having to find their way to the entrance to the video installation. 

Historic places are often analyzed through the political, economic and social environment that brought them about. Hops Hopsi, a room sized video installation developed for PROGRAM, reintroduces Spreepark as a site of an allegorical narrative, in which a character, developed for one of Gudnadottir’s past works to embody the transcendent powers of the free-market, reappears to symbolize an opposing sentiment - the dreamworld of socialism past becomes a distorted mirror held to Gudnadottir’s native Iceland, itself currently in economic and structural ruin. With a new narrative projected onto it, the park is given a new existence dislodged from other, established historical readings. Perhaps any kind of ideological posturing is really a staging - a system of facade constructions that provide an illusion of mass and substance, easy to destabilize and vulnerable to collapse.
— Carson Chan and Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, 2010

Massive tent constructed in the appearance of a circus tent hovered over the installation. It was lit from above casting a slight hint of orange hue over the exhibition area. Chairs were 'found sculptures' from the original circus tent at Spreepark.

 
In Hops Hopsi, Hulda Ros Gudnadottir’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, Spreepark - the now defunct GDR-era amusement park - becomes a site for the exploration of our collective disillusionment of the restorative potentials of architecture. The GDR, with its mandate to prove socialism’s superiority over capitalism, orchestrated grand ideological projects that would showcase its vitality, moral standing, and humanist ambitions. Many of these projects - indeed the project of post-war socialism as a whole - have failed. Today, the Spreepark, with its upturned dinosaurs, overgrown paths, and dilapidated structures, stands as a physical symbol of a failed experiment - a sentiment that finds reverberation in today’s failed global economy.

Constructed in 1969, “Kulturpark Plänterwald” was the only permanent amusement park in the GDR and in its heyday, attracted up to 1.7 million visitors per year. Its large Ferris wheel was visible from a distance and was later replaced with an even bigger one, bought in 1989 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the GDR. After reunification the park was renamed Spreepark and was abandoned in 2001 after going bankrupt.

Historic places are often analyzed through the political, economic and social environment that brought them about. Hops Hopsi, a room sized video installation developed for PROGRAM, reintroduces Spreepark as a site of an allegorical narrative, in which a character, developed for one of Gudnadottir’s past work to embody the transcendent powers of the free-market, reappears to symbolize an opposing sentiment - the dreamworld of socialism past becomes a distorted mirror held to Gudnadottir’s native Iceland, itself currently in economic and structural ruin. With a new narrative projected onto it, the park is given a new existence dislodged from other, established historical readings. Perhaps any kind of ideological posturing is really a staging - a system of facade constructions that provide an illusion of mass and substance, easy to destabilize and vulnerable to collapse.
— Program press release January 2010

The 10 videos were scattered around the space displayed on tube monitors of different sizes and also projected on various walls at various height levels. The sound of the installation created an omnipresent soundscape. To see the videos click here.

 
Video still from Hops Hopsi 10-channel video installation. Photographer: Dennis Helm

Video still from Hops Hopsi 10-channel video installation. Photographer: Dennis Helm

 
 

Kindly supported by: Stiftung Kunstfonds, Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association, Visual Artists Stipend Fund of Iceland, Center for Icelandic Art, Reykjavik City Cultural Committee and Association of Visual Artists, Iceland.