PRINT September 2008


“Experiment Marathon Reykjavík”

INTRODUCING “EXPERIMENT MARATHON REYKJAVÍK,” a two-day event that took place this past May in the Hafnarhús, the Icelandic capital’s contemporary art museum, artist Olafur Eliasson described the occasion as “a parallel parliament that includes disagreement, a parallel Western democracy.” Presented to a near-capacity audience, this alternative legislature was about to become manifest in the form of thirty-six fifteen-minute-long presentations from artists, architects, scientists, and theoreticians. First, however, Eliasson’s collaborator in organizing the event, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, reframed this ostentatious description, emphasizing the project’s incursion into terra incognita. At a historical juncture when, Obrist ventured, “all kinds of radical gallery gestures have been tested,” symposia offered a comparatively unexplored format.

This is less and less the case, admittedly. As

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