Egill Sæbjörnsson
Pleasure Stones

Egill Sæbjörnsson, Pleasure Stones, 2008. Lava rocks, single-channel video; 7 minutes. Private collection. Video Documentation of installation at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, 2015

In this theatrical instalation, two Icelandic lava rocks are animated through light, colour, and sound. The character brought out of the rocks offers a playful meditation on the beingness of stone. In an interview with new materialist philosopher Jane Bennett, the artist asks: “Given that everything on Earth comes out of magma, and that living creatures descend from inanimate materials, are human beings just walking and talking stones?” to which Bennett replies, “Yes.”

Artist bio:

Egill Sæbjörnsson is a visual artist and musician born 1973 in Reykjavik. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 1999, and since 2007 also works in Rio de Janeiro. Sæbjörnsson’s installations, performances and music pieces have been shown at many acclaimed institutions such as The Museum for Contemporary Art at The Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Baryshnikov Art Center New York, PS1 MoMA, New York, Kiasma Helsinki, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, i8 Gallery Reykjavik, Hopstreet Brussels, Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Johann König, Berlin. In 2010 he was nominated for the Carnegie Art Awards.

Sæbjörnsson’s installations and performances often consist of animation- and video-projections onto daily objects, sculptural elements or the artist himself.  All artworks are descriptions or drawings/photographs of something in the world. Simultaneously they are a new independent part of the world, an extension. Sæbjörnsson sees art as a species walking with humans. Culture and nature has been united as inseparable phenomenons. Recently he has focused on the relationship between evolution and creativity, seeing creativity as an essential/unavoidable part of life. Creativity and the world within art—being that in films, poetry, music or even science—is a space that is free to everyone. It is like a gigantic “internet” accessible to everyone, and that has connected all humans as far back as can be seen.

Two lava rocks with colorful strata projected onto them with a backdrop of the remainder of the video showing colors emiting from the silhouettes of the rocks
Egill Sæbjörnsson, Pleasure Stones, 2008. Lava rocks, single-channel video; 7 minutes. Private collection.