Lady Godeva

By Eva Nütsdóttir

By Eva Nütsdóttir

As of today, Cinemascuro has a new artist-in-residence. She is as young as we are old, as innocent as we are guilty, and as beautiful as we are not. Her name is Eva Nütsdóttir, and today is her birthday.

By way of introduction, she has provided us with the artist’s statement which accompanied her most recent exhibition.


* * *

Volcanic Matrices / Vulcanic Mattresses

Eva Nütsdóttir

My “art” is situated both within the context of creation and loss, and astride the simulacrum of destruction. It is most concerned with the futility of the “making.” The primary theme of making in relation to quasi-constructivist dogma is the choice the “maker” has between the concept of post-maternal identity and the rôle of the participant.

The intrinsic pain of not knowing the identities of my biological parents informs my series Volcanic Matrices. In these works, I the maker seek to situate myself as a modifier of the pre-landscape in order that a new paradigm emerge where none existed before, thus initiating a dialogue with the primal.

The primary creation? The birth. The crossing of the vaginal Rubicon is what Foucault calls the “constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.”

The primary loss? The womb. Once breached, it can never be re-entered. Or can it? My work destroys patriarchal theory by countering with the truth of what Eco has dubbed “the topos of the inexpressible.”

My process has been reduced, in more senses than one, to the bare necessities: a bucket of red ochre paint, a climbing harness, a dormant volcano, and a pony upon which I ride nude.

I mount the pony and put him into the tölt, a fast four-beat footfall. The landscape grows more and more rugged, but my pony is surefooted. We reach our destination, a volcano which has been dormant since the fourteenth century, and I ground tie the pony and strap myself into the climbing harness.

The descent does not take long.

Upon reaching the magma chamber, I remove the harness, apply paint to various parts of my body, and press them against the walls and floor of the chamber. I begin with my hands, much as prehistoric artists did. I continue with feet, face, and torso.

In so doing, I recreate the shamanistic ritual of transcendence. By becoming one with the walls, I am able to enter a space beyond my conscious awareness, a space on the “other side” of reality. I unite with the natal spirit and the vital spark of creation. During all of this, the question that remains foremost in my mind is, “Are you my mother?”

In order to see the works, the viewer must be willing to place him- or herself in the same altered state of awareness, and to traverse the primal landscape of our origins. A climbing harness and a sturdy pony are also helpful.

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