Interview by Margrét Blöndal. On the occasion of the exhibition “Inside a conch shell, one dot.” In The Living Art Museum

Reykjavík 2004.

Ráðhildur, can you tell us about the title of your work: Inside a conch shell, one dot?

This is something I have been working on for some years. The conch shell can mean time, for instance a million, thousand, hundred years or just a few earth years. It is a kind of a frame around my art and within that frame anything can happen.

Why are you so occupied with the conch shell? (Would an Icelandic Rosebay or a hollow stone be the same?)

When I have a conch shell in my hand I feel I am holding a small cosmos. I feel time, growth, rhythm, the rotation of the earth, order and chaos. An Icelandic Rosebay could be considered because it gives a hint of all this, only it stays but a short time and therefore I can not carry it with me like the conch shell. A (baggalútur) hollow stone has all this too but it does not show it as clearly as the conch shell.

What part do dreams play in your art?

When I had been working on my art for quite some years I realized that dreams I had dreamt long ago were connected to what I was doing in my artwork. Therefore I decided to reconstruct a few dreams in video and examine them closely.

You refer to your dreams quite often. Are they a way to break the bonds of the dimensions that is definable?

I don´t know. All I know is that my dreams are half of my existence.

Your work seems to be divided into some kind of a system on the one hand, and timelessness and chaos on the other. Are these two elements inseparable?

Yes, put together these create a whole. When you experience this timelessness, or chaos you are in fact finding a system. You are simply in a different place. When for instance we gaze into space we find chaos and timelessness, but if we look at the galaxy from the outside we find a system i.e. a spiral.

In your video the on-looker becomes one with the universe; - are there some hidden hints about Our limitations as intellectual beings Our obsession to systematize everything Our tendency to organize everything perfectly.

I don’t know... One thing is certain; it is difficult for us to trust something that we don’t understand When I was ten years old I dreamt that I was roaming in space, flying in the universe and watching the world. I was frightened but at the same time I felt a desire to stay there longer. – For many years after I felt dizzy when I thought about this dream.

Don’t you feel dizzy in all this immense space? What do you hold on to?

I hold on to my art