On Assignment

Dr. Kyllikki Zacharias
Catalogue Text

Become an expert on hummus – look for anything that resembles the letter ‘I’ in your environment – paint trees in a forest – let a sprout grow, graft it to another species, define the roots – make four paintings in the style of Hokusai’s Waterfalls. These are just some examples of the tasks Erla Haraldsdóttir elicited from her friends. They sound harmless, like a school assignment about the most memorable day in the summer holiday. We only start to suspect that there is something more substantial at stake here with the assignment to ‘investigate the nature and origin of angels’. Indeed, when we behold the images that Erla has created for these exercises, we are presented with the entire cosmos of world cultures. Like meteorites, they carve a path through the self-erected shields of constraint which were devised solely to counter the challenges of what has become near limitless artistic freedom.