Capricious 88 (now Company) is proud to present Changelings, a new exhibition of works by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, a.k.a. Shoplifter, who uses local detritus—fur, wood, plastic bags, flagpoles—as well as mass-produced materials such as hair extensions and fabric she has hoarded into her studio to examine the fetishistic desire to collect, transforming material into changelings teetering on the edge of object and organism. In doing so, Shoplifter lifts material from its functional context in order to reveal its underlying absurdity, creating visually stunning sculptures that play with both the beautiful and the grotesque.
Working on the fine line between collecting and amassing, Shoplifter traces the tenuous borders that divide us from the things we posses, reorganizing the everyday into its more creaturely possibilities. In Changelings, Shoplifter visually hoards to create a nonsensical bestiary of emergent animals, fragmentary limbs, random bursts of color and hair, and fleshy sculpture. Amassing and compiling, collecting and choosing, Shoplifter questions the impulse to own and consume things—and never let them go.
Inverting the hoarder’s mentality, which holds that objects should be collected in order to preserve them, Shoplifter deconstructs, tears apart, and remakes what she has gathered over time into new, almost beastly things. Not quite animate, not quite inanimate, Changelings occupies the under-explored territory between the two, playing with both the comic and the serious. Shoplifter accumulates in order to bring new definition to what has already been too clearly defined, blurring our relationship to the things we take most for granted, from trash bags to flagpoles.
Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter is a New York-based Icelandic artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Clocktower Gallery, Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Hole, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, the 2011 Nordic Fashion Biennial, Reykjavik Art Museum, Deitch Projects, and elsewhere. A frequent collaborator with Bjork, Shoplifter’s work for Medúlla will be included in Bjork’s 2015 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.