« Beside Picasso »


2009, 2010
Analogue Photography
Light-jet Prints
143 x 182 cm


This photographic series of portraits of museum guards testifies to an interest not so much in “Picasso” as in what else is on view in a gallery beside the great works of art. In this case Björns­son’s focus is on the women guarding them. Apparently unaware of the camera, the guards are at the centre in each picture, relegating the old masters to the background. One shot is taken in the Reykjavik Art Museum, where paintings by Kjarval, Iceland’s most renowned twentieth-century artist, are on display.
The photographs are part of the tradit-ion of institutional critique and comment on the relationship between people and art. They are also a some­what self–conscious contribution to the discourse on the role of women in art history as subjects/objects and on the notion of the male gaze. Björnsson follows up his investigation of what it is that images really mediate and what they want from the viewer. On which side of the camera is the subject?