Serious Clowning Around: a Review of Guðmundur Thoroddsen’s Hobby and Work


In the Flesh’s Aldrin Valdez published a review in ArtSlant Magazine on the artist Guðmundur Thoroddsen’s Hobby and Work show at the Aysa Geisberg Gallery (running through December 21st). Below is an excerpt:

“Museums are reliquaries of the past. They influence the present and future by determining whose work is important and worthy enough of permanence and visibility in the scale of a museum exhibition. Most often, they maintain the status quo. In Thoroddsen’s work, the museum is a closed system built by patriarchy. Only the stories of masculine men get told and retold in a series of one-upmanship and constant reference to predecessors in this insular world. It’s a parody that isn’t so far from the reality: white, heteronormative stories and images get to be shown, while the stories and images of people of color, queer folks, and women are marginalized. Thoroddsen’s criticism of patriarchy takes the form of serious clowning around that only thinly scratches the surface. I don’t know if he’s interested in truly challenging convention though. That would be a different kind of art. But we can find value in the work he makes now, with its prickly ambivalence, because of the questions it asks. And questions can be disruptive to convention.”

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