Hops Hopsi

10 channel video and mixed media installation (2010)

The work was originally produced by Program, Berlin and appropriated for an exhibition at Reykjavik Art Museum in January 2011.

See the original version here.

See the videos here.

Program catalogue here.


Installation photographs: Dennis Helm and Reykjavik Art Museum

Street view.

Street view.

The indoor exhibition reached out to the street via street visibility of a massive 'gummy bear' lightbox sculpture on a platform connected to the exhibition space. The location also made the exhibition visible from the main foyer of the museum. 

The sculpture 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.

Installation view.

Installation view.

 
Installation view with audience.

Installation view with audience.

'Making of an exhibition'. Video in 5 episodes produced and made by Moritz Dirks at ReFrame, Berlin for Reykjavik Art Museum.

 
 
 
 
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.
— Producers Carson Chan and Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, 2010
Installation view.

Installation view.

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. As a site-specific appropriation the octagon shape of the center space column was reproduced in various heights as columns for projectors and monitors, including a DVD box especially made for the exhibition. 

 
Entrance view to installation space.

Entrance view to installation space.

Entrance view to installation space.

Entrance view to installation space.

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

 
Installation view

Installation view

 
Installation view with audience

Installation view with audience

 
Installation view.

Installation view.

 
 
 
 
Installation view

Installation view

10-channel video installation is equipment heavy and instead of hiding the cables and equipment they were, as in Program the previous year, made part of the exhibition installation. The cables were taped in various colours and were laying around.

 
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 in 2010