In this lecture Nína Hjálmarsdóttir talks about her research into the marketed image of Iceland, specifically since 2008, and how it is represented in the Icelandic art scene, both locally and internationally. She is especially interested in how the body of the nation has been sold as something exotic, a certain kind of otherness that is white and free of colonial guilt, something linked to innocence – using the writing of anthropologist Kristín Loftsdóttir. Nína analyses how Icelandic artists move with their work abroad, and asks whether the idea of innocence and nordic exceptionalism plays a part in how they represent themselves. Furthermore, she looks at how local artists in Iceland are using their art practice to resist the image that is put on them, and striving to imagine new representations. 

Nína Hjálmarsdóttir is a performance artist, writer & producer based between Reykjavík and New York. She’s a lecturer and program director of theory at the performance art department of Iceland University of the Arts. She is one of the founding members of the performance art collective Sálufélagar, who have produced several performances for stage. Nína has produced for festivals and performance art groups, worked as a cultural critic for a large newspaper and produced radio shows for the Icelandic National Radio. She holds a B.A. in Performing Arts from Iceland University of the Arts and an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, as well as having studied one year of M.A. in Creative Writing. Furthermore, she has lived and worked in The U.S., South-America, Denmark, and Germany.