isthisit? is pleased to present Saemundur Thor Helgason: Solar Plexus Pressure Belt™ (2018). The exhibition marks the launch of Solar Plexus Pressure Belt™, an anxiety reducing device engineered and designed by Saemundur Thor Helgason in collaboration with fashion designer Agata Mickiewicz. The exhibition also features a new written contribution from Sophie Hoyle and a graphic identity by Gabríel Markan.
Saemundur Thor Helgason (b. 1986, Reykjavík) is an Icelandic artist based between Amsterdam and London. He holds an MFA from Goldsmith University, London and a BA from Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Helgason is the co-founder of HARD-CORE, an Amsterdam and London based Art Startup, developing algorithmic curatorial methods since 2011 and Cosmos Carl, a platform parasite that only hosts hyperlinks provided by artists and curators. His works have been shown most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, arebyte Gallery, London, UK, FUTURA, Prague, Czech Republic, Harbinger, Reykjavik, Iceland and at Goethe Institut, Beijing, China.
Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer whose practice explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, anti-psychiatry and disability issues. Their work looks at the relation of the personal to (and as) political, individual and collective anxieties, and how alliances can be formed where different kinds of inequality and marginalisation intersect. They relate personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) diaspora to wider forms of structural violence. From lived experience of psychiatric conditions and trauma, or PTSD, they began to explore the history of biomedical technologies rooted in state and military surveillance and control.
Agata Mickiewicz is a Polish fashion designer based between Reykjavik and Berlin. Mickiewicz graduated from the fashion design department of Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2010. Her work has been featured in magazines and blogs worldwide. Fashion houses Mickiewicz has worked for include Victor&Rolf, Amsterdam (2012) and Rick Owens, Paris (2014-15) and she took part in the fashion reality TV show ‘Project Runway’ (2015).
Gabríel Markan is a Reykjavik based graphic- and type designer and founder of Gnax Type type foundry. Gabríel graduated from the graphic design department at Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2017 and has since worked as a freelance graphic- and type designer for various clients in Iceland, Europe and India.
The exhibition was kindly supported by Myndlistarsjóður & Myndstef, Iceland.