Make Sure You Freeze Grandma, 2015

audio, 1'22
Gallery Fridge, Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland
for video and audio documentation please click here.

A collective piece from three international artists, "Make Sure You Freeze Grandma" commemorates ‘Holt’, the preserved house of a diseased Icelandic woman. Alda Halldorsdottir was born on the island Hrisey in 1913. She grew up in her family home raised by her mother and uncle, and kept the same house as her residence until she passed on July 20th, 1998. At the time of her death Alda had no family; no spouse or partner, no children, and no living relatives. It is known that she was a spritely member of the Hrisey community, and without a living relative to bequeath her personal estate to, she donated her home to the island, eternally standing as a portal into the past. Named ‘Holt’ Alda’s house is open for the Hrisey community and guests to visit at any time. The house remains completely untouched, everything in place as it was 17 years ago, when she passed. "Make Sure You Freeze Grandma" considers the viewer, and any participant of Holt as Alda’s descendents. The different pieces of the exhibition are individually inspired by the experience of Alda’s home, frozen in time. As some of her international ‘grandchildren’ the exhibit features works by Canadian, Polish and British artists. The work consists of drawings, objects and an audio piece. The audio piece by Magda Buczek is a traditional Polish lullaby, translated into Icelandic in one of the cruellest ways you can deal with poetry and language: the google translator tool. The plot - cruel and strangely gloomy itself - a tale of a king, a warrior and a princess who loved each other truly but had been eaten alive by a dog, a cat and a mouse. The story itself and the language is mutilated in two different ways: by google default translation and by the artist that reads it out loud in Icelandic without a command of proper pronunciation. The outcome sounds like a misheard moan, a prey, a spell. Talia Shaaked was drawn to what was beyond the clutter in the Holt House, Talia re-created some of the wallpaper featured in the Holt kitchen. Desiring to produce something that could surround, structure, and form space, the wallpaper drawings are a lining to the exhibitions interior space. They stand in as a backdrop to Alda’s time portal. Interested in looking at spaces from a different perspective -whether a virtual, imaginary or atmospheric space- Anna Columbine was drawn to one room in particular in the Holt House, the bathroom. Capturing close-up views of the bathroom, the space has been obscured, turning it into a series of abstract images of colours, shapes and floating objects. An extension of Holt, Make Sure you Freeze Grandma emulates the time portal created by Alda Halldorsdottir. Approach, open the door and experience a contemporary extension of an Icelandic time capsule.

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