Nordic Award in Textiles 2011

Hrafnihildur Arnardottir aka Shoplifter
The Nordic Award in Textiles 2011
Textile Museum
Boras, Sweden
November 11th 2011- February 26th, 2012

The Textile Museum is proud to present a unique exhibition of this year’s winner of the Nordic Award in Textiles 2011 – Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter. The Nordic Award in Textiles has been awarded to the Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter for her innovative work with human and synthetic hair. Shoplifter has worked and lived in New York since 1994, and is well known for her braided hair sculptures, installations and several collaborations with the musician Björk. Her hair murals have been commissioned by MoMA.

Shoplifter moves effortessly between art, fashion and design, while keeping a distinct craft and esthetic sense in her work. While pursuing different directions in sculpture, drawing, photography, installation, video and performance Shoplifter became fascinated with hair while working in an antique shop in Reykjavík as a teenager. She came across a flower made from human hair, and perceived the object as an expression of a historic linkage between the human body and our perception of beauty. Fashion, beauty and vanity are important concepts in her underlying artistic philosophy, which she sees as an expression of emotion and individuality.

In her latest work we see Shoplifter drawing on the notion of outer space with hairy stars and planets. It is tempting to interpret this universe as an allegory for society and the individuals roaming in it. This is underlined with the grinning, smiley faces on a few of the spheres. This reminds us of the inherent contradiction of our time, where the illusion of limitless freedom to manifest our individuality is conveyed in the means of expression that we choose. We are all our own stars and galaxies of complex experience and emotion, and the only way to reach each other is to shine across the universe.

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Installation View: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Installation View: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Anna Sigge
Emotional Spines: Detail: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Emotional Spines, Detail: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Emotional Spines, Detail: Photo by Anna Sigge

Anna Sigge
Emotional Spines, Detail: Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Imaginary Friend, Shy: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Imaginary Friend: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Imaginary Friend: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Imaginary Friend Bomba III: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Imaginary Friend, Litli Tittur: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Imaginary Firend, Bearded Loner: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Study for an Opera IV: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Installation View: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Fuzzy Smiley: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Black Comet: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Installation View: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Hippie Planet: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet
Full Moon: Photo by Jan Berg/Textilemuseet

Photo by Anna Sigge
Hringsola Performance: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Hringsola Performance: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Hringsola Performance: Photo by Anna Sigge

Photo by Anna Sigge
Hringsola Performance: Photo by Anna Sigge