Björn SC Deigner is an author, playwright and composer for radio and theater. Luise Voigt is a director, author and media artist. Both artists are based in Berlin.
Björn and Luise stayed in Ólafsfjörður and they worked at Listhús Art Residency for a month from the beginning of July 2018. They could focus on their ideas here and get in touch with their work from other perspective.
1. Have you done the residencies before?
We have done several residencies and scholarships in Germany and other countries. It was now the first time for us in Ólafsfjörður and also in Iceland.
2. Why have you decided to come to north Iceland to do the residency?
We visited Iceland two years ago as tourists. We started to think right away that it could be an interesting experience to work in that impressive environment and react to that. We also wanted to spend a longer time at one place instead of travelling across the country. We thought it might give us the chance to get to know a region and people here better – offside the typical tourist activities (attractions, trails, locations). Both aspects seemed fitting for Listhús and it definitely worked out well.
3. Have you brought some ideas from Germany about what you would like to do here in Ólafsfjörður? Did they change and (if yes) what has changed them?
In fact we brought some work here that we wanted to do during the summer. But yes, that changed more or less. Luise started to work on some paintings and drawings and I started writing a radio play. Both activities were a reaction to the environment that surrounded us and also to people we have met.
4. Would you like to share what is your project about / are your projects about?
Luise dealt with the touristic view that always seemed to follow us when we tried to capture the nature in Iceland. In her drawings and paintings she tried to make this her main topic.
I started writing a radio play that takes place in Ólafsfjörður. It is going to be a thriller about two German petty crooks that end up here. So again: the view of the onlooker to this town is pretty much of interest.
5. What do you find the most attractive/interesting about residency life in general and about experience of residency stay in Ólafsfjörður?
In our opinion the most attractive aspect of being at a residency is the chance to get to know other artists. Not only that they work in different genres and media. But also that they are usually from different countries and at different stages of their career. That is quite inspiring and puts your own work in a different context.
For the time at Listhús I would say that it was being confronted with overwhelming nature and a very interesting history of the town where you are living in.
6. What are your plans after you get back to Germany?
We have a lot of work waiting for us. Luise resumes rehearsals at a theatre and I am in preparations for another radio play.
8. Are you planning to come to Ólafsfjörður one day again?
I definitely think so. We have been enjoying summer here and now we are pretty excited to see how Ólafsfjörður looks like in the winter time.