CGFC makes litter glitter
This time Nordic Culture Point is talking to CGFC, an Iceland based group of four artists Arnar Geir Gústafsson, Birnir Jón Sigurðsson, Hallveig Kristín Eiríksdóttir and Ýr Jóhannsdóttir who met in 2015 and since then have already carried out various installations, performances and live experiments. Many of the participants are often left with confusion, trying to make sense of what just happened, others desperately wants to crowd surf. Your head starts spinning when artists explain what the acronym CGFC stands for as they all answer differently with the first words crossing their mind.
Make litter glitter
In 2017 CGFC received Mobility funding that helped them carry a research and performance piece Glitter Litter with the aim of developing mobile eco-scenography that can be put up in remote places around the West-Nordic countries. They explain that the idea behind their eco-scenography was to use local found materials to make up the majority of their visuals. CGFC says, “Our challenge was to do cool scenography without wasting or having to transport a lot of stuff.”
Glitter Litter is a playful name that combines something beautiful and yet something that is often considered being ugly or dirty. CGFC explains that the name sprang into life when they were talking about superheroes, who are often pictured as characters with the positive impact, however we do not often think of bad sides of Batman, for example. “Maybe police will be underfunded because Batman is always there to save the day, in the long run, it could be bad,” CGDC says. The Glitter Litter superhero promises to bring a next level party, but makes it also clear that there will be a lot of cleaning up afterwards.
“Because we tend to always make a bit of mess when we are doing our pieces, we spend a lot of time cleaning and packing our scenography, so we thought this would be a perfect name,“ artists explain the history behind the name.
Boring environmental apocalypse
Today not having environmental aesthetics is kind of stupid.
Today, when environmental issues, various agreements and agendas, such as Nordic Generation 2030, are brought into the spotlight, art, according to CGDC, should not be excluded. They without hesitation call slow environmental apocalypse “boring” and when asked about environmental aesthetics they answer that today not having environmental aesthetics is kind of stupid: “Artists really should know that actions have consequences and we all know that we need to change what we do and how we think about everything. Art is not excluded.”
Environmental aesthetics played an important role in Glitter Litter as CGDC has used various local found materials as well as abandoned premises for their workshops and performances. The materials used in the workshop were mostly acquired from recycled local factory material in various Icelandic locations and by the Klaksvik harbor (Faroe Islands) and industrial areas.
When we curiously ask if litter can become a new storyteller – do the recycling materials carry a story or impose some changes in their work, they mention ruined fishing nets they found from a factory in Kristiansand that became the most prominent element in the scenography there. However, they also mention that the piece does not bring with it an arrogant, imposing character but has really made an effort to connect to the here and now of the place.
Let them have fun
It is very important to underline that a more sustainable future is a more fun future as well.
Kristiansand is one of the places they have performed in. One of the key ideas behind Glitter Litter was to give people living in remote places the opportunity to experience underground contemporary art and spread the awareness.“If you always have to travel to a bigger city to be able to enjoy some grass root stuff, you will probably not do it. But if there is a show in your hometown, and it is free, why not give it a try?,” artists explain. That is why the group travels and has fun in the remote places in Iceland and Faroe Islands, where they worked in cooperation with local Klaksvik Theatre Company.
Fun is important to CGDC and when young artists are being asked if sustainability and having fun has something in common, they express the worry that maybe not at this particular time:
“Having fun is related a lot with consuming, buying new stuff or experiences … Sustainability is often linked with austerity, with being without a certain mode of transport or a certain privilege. We think that creating the idea that you can have fun without consuming is very important for the future of our planet. It is very important to underline that a more sustainable future is a more fun future as well. Even though big extravagant eco-unfriendly things are cool that doesn’t mean that they cannot be eco-friendly.“
If you want to find more about CGDC and their art projects please visit their website, which we promise, will be intriguing.
Mobility funding is a part of the programme of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture that aims to promote mobility as an important instrument to strengthen the conditions for cultural and artistic cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region. Click here if you want to find more about making your idea come into life.