Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir


“Processing is a word normally related to computer science. Nevertheless, it seems to be a very appropriate designation for Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir’s work. Processing is exactly what she does while producing her work of art, in one-take act without regrets. The act is the leading principle in her works, in which an understated or invisible performativity is immanent in small stiches or the full use of a crayon. As in most art works, the act of the artist is recognisable but, in cutting up a piece of felt and sewing it together again as in the piece, I change my mind- consisting of 15 pieces of differently coloured felt- and the act of finishing a wax crayon on a piece of paper in six wax crayon.

 The pieces have a literal quality and a matter-of-factness, which lies within the process of doing. The choice of materials is also based on the same pragmatism. Materials that can be found anywhere - in local paper - shops, no matter where you are in the world, are used. Felt , confetti, tape, wax crayons (the ordinary ones you can buy for children), self - adhesive plastic and of course paper. All in all everyday materials that are easy to get hold of. Materials like these are in severe opposition to what we traditionally think of as ”art creating” as the visible act. A kind of ”low” materiality (as opposed to the ”high” materiality of, for instance, easel painting or stone sculpting) that is also related to ”low” or everyday culture: interior decoration, childern’s play, etc. It could be characterised as a domestic materiality, consistent with the sizes of the works, which are all small, easy to handle, and very practical if you are dependent on a small workspaces or changing locations.

 In the 1970s, work like this would probably have been labelled ”women’s art” but, as perceptions have changed, instead it might be called ”low” or ”domestic” conceptualism in which the process of doing and the here and now are essential factors for the final result.


Sanne Kofod Olsen