“In many ways, I’m profoundly uninterested in architecture,” says Katrín Sigurdardóttir — a surprising statement from an artist whose work would seem to be intimately linked to architectural traditions. For instance, “Boiseries,” Sigurdardóttir’s project at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010, included reproductions of two of the museum’s French 18th-century period rooms: one from the Hôtel de Crillon and the other from the Hôtel de Cabris. Sigurdardóttir constructed renditions of the two rooms on a scale that was 85 percent of the originals: a proportion almost the right size, only slightly off — making for an uncomfortable experience when walking into them. Her rooms were completely whitewashed. The elaborate embellishments in gold and paint became white patterns, the lush furniture turned ghosts of stuff past. Surprisingly enough, however, the result did not look like a stripped-down version of an original: It was some-
thing entirely new. Her rooms take their cue from the French interiors, but they also allude to history and the way we as a society build structures, use them, and then revel in conserving them. “It’s not the questions of architecture that I am interested in,” she clarifies. “I use architecture as a language to describe places, places with history, containers for experiences. Architecture programs experiences in the sense that it becomes a kind of script for how to live or how to exist, how to perform your daily life in
space — but it also just becomes the stage where things take place.”
Article: Gat, Orit, “Artist Katrín Sigurdardóttir,” Modern Painters, July 2012
Image: Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Boiserie (detail), 2010, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.