Sigga Björg Sigurardóttir, Untitled (2010) [Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge AB, Sep 24-Nov 13] Courtesy of the artist
Artwork expressing emotions has been rather suspect for the past two or three decades so its refreshing to see an exhibit promoting their reappearance. Emotional Blackmail is a curated show tracing a tendency over the last decade away from irony and towards an attempt at sincere expression.
Curators Markús Andrésson and Chen Tamir have been looking at the difficulty of generating and analyzing emotion in contemporary art, and the ways in which artists are currently using emotions. The resulting exhibit offers a sample of complex works in an effort to examine what they call a new stream of sincerity or neo-sincerity.
The selected artists are Kristleifur Björnsson, Kerry Downey, Hadley+Maxwell, Haraldur Jónsson, Ragnar Kjartansson and Magnus Sigurdarson, Meiro Koizumi, Tova Mozard, Benny Nemerofsky, Ramsay and Aleesa Cohene, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Bert Rodriguez, Ariel Schlesinger, Amie Siegel and Sigga Björg Sigurardóttir.
One of the most interesting aspects of the exhibit is the degree to which emotions or their equivalent are expressed through cultural lenses: language, theatre, film and music ranging from pop music, YouTube, and teen culture to Ingmar Bergman and self-help.