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Saemundur Thor Helgason - Wilma

Saemundur Thor Helgason
Wilma (from the exhibition Fellowship of Citizens)

From 2018 Programme – Islands

An excerpt from WILMA (2018), written and directed by Hawk Björgvinsson, co-produced by Félag Borgara (Fellowship of Citizens). Shown during the exhibition Fellowship of Citizens, by Saemundur Thor Helgason, at arebyte Gallery in 2018.


The exhibition formally launched the interest group Félag Borgara (or in English ‘Fellowship of Citizens’) founded by Saemundur Thor Helgason in Reykjavik in October 2017, which aims to lobby for basic income in Iceland through apolitical means.

The interest group seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a financing scheme which operates as an economic island, a microcosmic financial system, lobbying for basic income in Iceland. The work operates on a national scale due to legal restrictions, but financially supports  BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network), an international organisation that advocates for basic income worldwide.

Fellowship of Citizens aims to fund BIEN with regular payments raised by a national lottery called ‘Happdrætti Listamanna’ (or ‘Artist Lottery’), open to all citizens of Iceland. As part of the exhibition at arebyte, excerpts from a new short film written and directed by Hawk Bjorgvinsson, Wilma (2018), was showcased. The film was produced by Fellowship of Citizens, together with Chanel Björk Sturludóttir and Katrín Arndísardóttir. 

Saemundur Thor Helgason is an Icelandic artist based in London. He is a co-founder of HARD-CORE, an Amsterdam and London based art organization, developing algorithmic curatorial methods since 2011 and Cosmos Carl, an online platform that only hosts hyperlinks provided by artists and curators. Recent exhibitions and events that Helgason has taken part in include; ‘A guiding dog for blind dog, Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Prague, Czech Republic (2018), ‘Silicon Dreams’ with HARD-CORE at Harbinger, Reykjavik, Iceland (2018), ‘SuperFetish S/S’ at Goethe Institut, Beijing, China (2016), ‘Not in the Berlin Biennale’ at 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), ‘ÁVÖXTUN %’ Rate of Return at Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland (2016), ‘CO-WORKERS – Network as Artist’ at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2015), ‘Vanity Fair | Demo Mode’ with Leslie Kulesh at Project Native Informant, London (2015). Since 2015, HARD-CORE teaches its own module ‘Documentation and Online Presence’ at the fine art department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

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