Dedication was created in the memory of girls and women who were sentenced to death by drowning in seventeenth and eighteenth century Iceland for becoming pregnant outside wedlock. This work, performed in 2006, involved a team of divers and assistants who recovered “bodies” from a “Drowning” pool in Thingvellir National Park. The photograph above shows the “bodies” laid out on stretchers on public view. To learn more about the project, click here.
Henry Martin: What, if any, responsibility, do you feel as an artist, in what way, or toward whom?
Rúrí: My responsibility is to always make art that I find urgent, pressing or important.
Henry Martin: Should an artist be in the world, looking out, or outside the world, looking in?
Rúrí: The artist is both places simultaneously.
Henry Martin: What is inspiration? How do you find it?
Rúrí: Inspiration is something we must seek, sometimes it seems to come to us as out of the blue, sometimes it is a strenuous search, like fine-tuning a radio to receive an unknown broadcast of an unknown wavelength.
Henry Martin: Does your work come from the head or the heart?
Rúrí: The best works combine intellect and compassion.
Henry Martin: What does the word gender mean to you within your practice?
Rúrí: In art gender may appear as symbolic. But in practice, in the profession, gender unfortunately is most often linked to discrimination.
Henry Martin: What is art?
Rúrí: Art is philosophy translated into form and material.
Title: Dedication. Date: 2006. Technique/Material: Performance and installation. Format/Dimensions: Length of performance 90 minutes. Exhibition venue: Drekkingarhylur/ the Drowning Pool, at the Thingvellir National Park in Iceland on September 5th. 2006. Photo: Friðrik Örn Hjaltested © Friðrik Örn Hjaltested/Rúrí