Shoplifter – Hypernature

Shoplifter – Hypernature

Chromo Sapiens by Hrafnhildur Arnardottir / Shoplifter. Image by Ugo Carmeni

Icelandic artist takes over ARoS with a psychedelic, colourful artificial hair cave. An immersive experience for all the senses, full of playful humour and magic.

From 4 December, ARoS will present a major immersive exhibition created by the Icelandic artist Shoplifter, whose given name is Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (b. 1969).

The exhibition titled Hypernature, is a colourful grotto of cathedral proportions infused with a wealth of references. Reminiscent of cartoons, stuffed animals, punk culture’s colourful experimental hairstyles, fantastical parallel worlds and myths about hidden magical caverns deep inside the earth.

- With her maximalist use of space and synthetic hair extensions, Shoplifter creates landscape-like installations that activate the body and our senses, sight, touch and sound. Hypernature places the viewer in a surreal and enveloping environment that that blurs our sense of scale, time and place. She sees hair as a very distinctive kind of sculptural material with limitless potential, a medium that calls out to be processed into new forms, says curator Jeanett Stampe, ARoS.  

Even though Shoplifter’s works act as a springboard for discussing several highly topical themes, Hypernature is first and foremost a sensuous experience that activates the emotions through neurological triggers in our brain. The soundtrack, created in collaboration with the Icelandic composer Skúli Sverrisson, adds layers of breath, movement and time to the work. Combining these elements, the installation Hypernature invites visitors to be a part of a three dimensional landscape painting, a multisensory experience generating an emotive stimulation.

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (born 1969) is an Icelandic, New York-based contemporary artist. When she moved to New York, her birth name was mispronounced as Shoplifter, and she has gone by this alias ever since.

In 2019, Shoplifter represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale, presenting the immersive installation Chromo Sapiens. Created especially for the exhibition at ARoS, Hypernature is a continuation of that work. Her works create a platform for experiments, play and discussions about art. At the same time, they prompt reflection on our present-day excessive consumption of artificial materials as well as recycling and ceaseless need for sensory (over)stimulation and urge to seek refuge in parallel worlds.

More on Shoplifter at 

Press photos are available for download at via Dropbox free of charge provided that the photographer is credited.

The exhibition is supported by:

Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond
Statens Kunstfond

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