In the vast, barren landscape of the Icelandic Highlands, three socialites dressed in their best furs and jewels enjoy a rustic vacation. They fish, hunt, play the guitar by the fire and make the most of their excursion to the rare coldness of one of the world’s last remaining snow caps. Dynasty, a documented performance, imagines a world where climate change has made cold weather a distant memory. It depicts a time when the discomforts of cold have been forgotten and only nostalgia for winter remains.
The Icelandic Love Corporation (ILC) is a collaborative group of three female artists who are known for their irreverent spirit. Presented within the context of the Toronto Pearson’s Terminal 1, Dynasty highlights the connection between commercial air travel, carbon emissions and climate change. These wealthy women, portrayed by the ILC, have the privilege of escaping the sweltering heat and playing at wilderness self-sufficiency, but not before getting their long-missed furs out of storage and having their nails done. The power station in the distance is a reminder of the past, when nature was harnessed to provide electricity and people were not purely at the mercy of the climate. The fact that there is nothing futuristic about the scene implies that such a world might not be too far off, although the exuberance and humour that characterizes much of the ILC’s work leaves room for the hope that this is not inevitable.
Many of us share the ILC’s desire for escape through travel to exotic locales. However, the global side effects of these travels, along with other daily activities, must be considered now in order to avoid the world where Dynasty is the reality.
The Icelandic Love Corporation was formed in 1996. Currently based in Reykjavik, they have exhibited widely, including in 2007 a 10-year retrospective at the Reykjavik Art Museum; Envisioning Change by the Natural World Musuem at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels; and The Believers at MassMocca, Massachusetts.
Presented in partnership with No.9: Contemporary Art and the Environment.