Egill Sæbjörnsson

Artist

Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson is a friend to Dallas, having presented an immersive video work here last year as part of Soluna Festival, in partnership with the Dallas Art Fair, an extension of his 2017 Venice Biennale presentation for the Icelandic Pavilion, complete with lecherous but hilarious trolls. For Shelf Life, he sends this heartfelt and generous dispatch.


I feel like my list is very simple. But I think that’s also OK. I somehow think that a million people have already seen and heard everything that I’m putting on the list. But then again, the world is so big, and there are so many people, that some things are never said too often. I want to thank Dallas for warm reception last year when my trolls did a performance at the Soluna Festival and together with The Dallas Art Fair. It was a great experience to come to Dallas, I feel kindred spirit with the people there, there are some rocks in our minds, both in Iceland and Texas, and both places have vast empty inlands that shape who we are.

Here are some good things I recommend:

1. A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands that visualization is a powerful tool and sets this narration as if it’s speaking in the already-happened future. It is clear that the world can be changed. The COVID-19 crisis has put all of us in the same boat. We need to change our ways of seeing things, valuate Earth’s resources, and we need to set new laws to facilitate a future that works out. 

2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari

For those that haven’t read the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari, this is a total must. Even though it’s already 9 years since its debut release in Hebrew in Israel, it’s a book of such magnitude that it will span the next decades. So much information has been gathered since many of us graduated from schools, some decades ago, and how Harari collects and binds those ideas, through his own thinking process is a state of the arts.

3. Netflix. The Crown and Vikings

On Netflix I watched The Crown, and it’s a wonderful series about the institution of the Royal Family of Great Britain. It gives insight into History in large parts of the world and shows how the world has changed over the course of the last 70 years or so. 

Another series I recommend is Vikings. Already a few years old but coming from a northern country it was a blast to watch. They made a lot of research, and even speak Icelandic and refer to old tales that all Icelanders know. It’s great fun to watch. Even though all historical facts are not true, they are meant to give a more general insight into life of people in the Nordic hemisphere a thousand years ago.

5. Disney + Gravity Falls

If you have Disney + I recommend watching Gravity Falls. It’s as brilliant as The Simpsons, full of adventure, and although it’s meant for kids, it’s also fun to watch for grown-ups. 

6. Crazy P

I recommend also a band that has been around for a long time but not many people know is Crazy P (stands for Penis). They make great music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9D7vBrQ6Hc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq3qF-EUXfo

7. Display Land - 3D scanning app

The last app that I liked playing with is called Display Land and it’s from Apple. It enables one to scan in things, and places and it’s pretty simple to operate. It’s for free too. I scanned the door of my house, some rocks at the ocean and a lot of houses and a lot of stones in Iceland. Iceland is like Texas, full of rocks.

8. The Guardian

My favourite newspaper is with no doubt The Guardian. I’m a subscriber because I think they are an important voice for journalism and also for human rights and democracy in this strange period of time we live in.

9. The World

Is right in front of you. Look at it. Sit down, relax, and take in how magnificent it is. No internet link is needed. It’s right in front of you. 

10. Practice to be Thankful

It’s good to be thankful for what we have. For good things and bad things. Everything gives us insight. Crisis and good times are two ends of the same stick. 

My favorite speaker about these things is Louise L Hay.

I also think that what she points about the power of the mind and our emotions are important factors for each one to look into. 

For therapy I recommend EMDR.

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
214.242.5100
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