Schoen Christian (dir.), Ruri: Fragile Systems, Nordatlantens Brygge, Copenhagen, 2016
Ruri: Archive – Endangered Waters, Museum Het Domein, Sittard, 2004→
Glassrain, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, 2001→
Rúrí: Fragile Système, LOFT – Raum für Kunst und Gegenwart, Ansbach, March 2013
Icelandic multimedia visual artist.
Rúrí has explored almost all of the artistic mediums: painting, sculpture, writing, photography, film, multimedia installations and performance art. After studying at the Reykjavík School of Fine Arts and the Vrije Academie in The Hague, she began a career underpinned by a critical approach to society with her performance Golden Car (1974), in which Iceland discovered a frail young woman destroying a golden Mercedes with a sledgehammer. This symbolic aspect of her activism later manifested itself in her installation Glassrain (1984), made up of 500 sharp glass shards suspended in the shape of a labyrinth through which visitors must move very cautiously. Rúrí has also created pieces for the public space, the best known of which is The Rainbow (1986), a monumental sculpture built opposite Keflavík airport in Iceland. Her multimedia installation Paradís? Hvenær? [“Paradise? When?”, 1998] addresses the subject of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2003, she presented Archive-Endangered Waters at the Venice Biennale, an interactive multimedia installation made up of visual and acoustic data on 52 waterfalls that had disappeared or were threatened by the construction of a dam in the Icelandic highlands. The piece brought her international acclaim. She used the voice of the waterfalls again in her piece Water-Vocals-Endangered (2005-2008).
In 2009, Aqua-Silence highlighted the beauty of nature and in doing so raised emotional and symbolic awareness of the power of individuals over the fragility of the world. Water was also a central element in her piece Dedication (2006), which she performed at Drekkingarhylur, a deep rift in the Thingvellir glacial river. Rúrí dedicated the piece to the memory of the women who were drowned there during the 17th and 18th centuries as a punishment for adultery or illegitimate pregnancies. Rúri has participated in some 200 exhibitions worldwide, and most of her works are featured in permanent exhibitions. She has taught fine arts, taken part in a number of symposiums and lectures, written articles and received numerous prizes and distinctions. Her artistic process consists in deconstructing, fragmenting and reconstructing, thus symbolically recreating a whole through the structural modification of its parts and involving the audience at the heart of her work, in which time passes like a force at once invisible, creative, and destructive. Rúrí considers nature and universal values, which she places at the centre of her work, to be under threat in times of corruption and destruction.