Visual artist I Iceland
Berghall - Olga Bergmann & Anna Hallin
Olga Bergmann is born in Reykjavik 1967. She completed her MFA from CCA in Oakland California in 1995 and BA from The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts (renamed The Iceland Academy of the Arts) in 1991. Anna Hallin is born in Olofström Sweden in 1965. She completed an MFA in applied arts from HDK Gothenburg University in 1990 and MFA in studio arts from Mills College California in 1996. Bergmann & Hallin have collaborated as Berghall on several projects and exhibition since 2005. They have exhibited extensively in Iceland and abroad. — for example at The National Gallery of Iceland, Kling and Bang Gallery Reykjavik, The Nordic Biennial in Moss Norway, ProArtibus in Finland, Bozar in Bruxelles, Einar Jónsson Museum - Reykjavík and at Hjalteyri Contemporary Art Space - The Factory in Iceland. Berghall have also created projects for public space, temporary installations indoors and out as well as permanent public art works like for instance in Holmsheiði a high security prison in Reykjavík and for Reykjavík Capital Cemeteries.
Their collaborations deal with biology and ecosystems as well as cultural and historical phenomena in which all sorts of classifications, from genetic mappings to historical registrations, are questioned. In their practise Olga and Anna frequently stage site-specific installations as archaeological discoveries of other cultures, which are presented in the form of fantasy documentation, sculptures, drawings, videos, and photography, to map out distinct social behavior and ways of living, in comparison to our own societies and origin. As Berghall they have also infiltrated museum collections and authentic scientific exhibits, changing them and/or placing fictional objects and documentaries among the selected objects and information on display.
Their project at Circolo Scandinavo involves an investigation and interpretation of some of the more fantastical fountains in Rome - exploring the symbolic and artistic expression of their appearance and design and looking at how they can be interpreted through contemporary references and points of view. They seek inspiration in the many layered and overlapping cultural residue that characterises the City of Rome in order to create new collage based video work and animations that involve elements of speculative fiction and time travel — a journey through unexpected passages and ripples in time.
Links: New Wilderness 2021 - 8 minutes long clay and collage animation, https://vimeo.com/user96290079
Berghall, who live and work in Reykjavik, Iceland, share about their process, practice, and give insights into their collaborative projects in a conversation with art historian Dore Bowen.