Wiola Ujazdowska

Unlimited Labour


Mixed media


Seaside by Ægisíða

Unlimited Labour is a mixed media installation by Polish artist Wiola Ujazdowska located close to the old grayling sheds at Ægisíða, but well into the 20th century fishermen were fishing by the seaside. Wiola bases her research on ideas of foreign workers who have become an important factor in the Icelandic economy. Unlimited Labour is looking for a continuity of human work to the world of plants and fungi as well as processes of decay and composting. Within the glass box which forms the framework of the work, fog, moisture and heat has formed due to the cultivation that is taking place inside it. The box contains various materials that all have symbolic meaning related to specific buildings sites and imported workforce. Metal, textile, wood objects, and stones taken from decaying workers’ houses since the construction of an aluminium smelter in Reyðarfjörður; and soil, stones and found objects collected in close proximity to Harpa, the concert hall built during the 2008 economic crisis. Also enclosed are poison ivy, arnica and dandelion - all plants with powers to heal, or, in this context, to destroy. Over the course of the exhibition, Wiola’s work will evolve as the organic processes take over and soil, vegetation, plants and fungi gain the upper hand; the unlimited labour of natural species decomposing what human work has left behind.

In her artistic practice, Wiola Ujazdowska (b. 1988 Toruń, Poland) balances between socially engaged art, happenings and videos, focusing on the group that she is most familiar with - working class migrants from Eastern Europe. She is inspired by anthropology and literature studies and focused on the linguistic processes of othering, post-humanistic perspectives on the other and philosophical concepts of identity. Her practice is a form of rejection of traditional way of art making in favour of collective creation and recycling. Wiola has been based in Reykjavík since 2014. Since then, she has been active on the Icelandic art scene, engaging in a number of different projects. She holds an M.A in Art Theory from Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland where she also studied at the Department of Fine Arts. Her works have been shown in the U.S.A, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Iceland.