Special screening: Union of the North

Among the special events at RIFF this year is a special screening on Union of the North in Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús on Friday the 29th of September at 15.45. In this recent film Matthew Barney, Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson put a new twist on an ancient ritual in an act of balance between communalism and individuality. Union of the North is a part of Iceland Dance Company’s SACRIFICE – a festival of common things made holy.

More on Union of the north
One of the world’s most tenacious concepts is the idea of a father, mother and a child. The concept sits at the core of all religious beliefs, creating material for mythical interpretations such as the one relating to the unification of heaven and earth. A version of that particular narrative can be found in Greek mythology; the myth of Uranus and Saturn and their 12 off-springs who became the first Greek gods and goddesses. In Sumerian mythology, however, the sky, the earth, the first gods and the entire humanity were the work of the goddess Nammu, the eternal ocean. In Union of the North by Matthew Barney, Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson, said Nammu holds a job at a shopping centre. She stands behind the counter of a Dunkin’ Donuts at closing time, fixes a golden donut in preparation of a wedding ceremony and waits for teams of excited stags and hens to arrive. This is a reality show featuring normal working people who aim at putting a new twist on an ancient ritual in an act of balance between communalism and individuality.