Self-portrait, video work (10 min), sculptures, installation, 2010.
Photographs, paper work, 2010
Paper work, text work, 2010.

In the year 2010, Jona Hlif collaborated with artist Hlynur Hallsson on three separate exhibitions in Reykjavik, Djupavik and Berlin, under the title: On with the margarine! Inspired by contemporary politics, the economical downturn and events surrounding the Icelandic financial collapse in 2008, in their works Jona Hlif and Hallsson explored themes related to national identity, capitalism and art. 

At the first exhibition (titled Empty slogans) in ASI Art Museum in Reykjavík, the self-portrait Blue was presented. Also exhibited was a video work showing a person repeatedly hitting a piece of margarine until it flattens, next to a reprinted and adjusted poem by Icelandic poet Sigfus Dadason. Sculptures resembling melted cakes, with the Icelandic flag tied on top of it were also a part of Jona Hlif’s contribution to the collaboration. Also, guests and viewers were invited to wear a crown at the exhibition opening, made of magarine paper. In another part of the exhibition viewers were invited to write ideas on the back of margarine paper, wrap them up into balls and throw them into trash baskets.

In the exhibition in Djupavik (titled … and worships its god who dies), at an art gallery situated in an old abandoned herring factory built in the 1950s, Jona Hlif presented photographs taken in the aftermath of the financial collapse in Iceland. One picture, taken behind the church of Hallgrimskirkja, shows graffiti on a wall in Reykjavik, reading: The revolution was useless. Two other photographs show the artist standing on a sand binge in front of an empty factory, with a giant black cone on top of her head.

Finally at an exhibition (titled The revolution is just getting started) in the gallery Mitte in Berlin, Jona Hlif presented new paper and text works. The subject matter was partly taken from writings published in a catalogue which followed the exhibition. The work consisted of several, coloured paper arcs arranged in a pattern on the floor, with text carved out and pulled back. The art work’s lifetime was knowingly limited, as viewers were forced to walk on the work in order to see it. The paper was also knowingly exposed to humidity at the raw exhibition room in the gallery. The process of deterioration became a part of the art work during the exhibition.

A catalogue containing writing and meditations on the economics, margarine and the future was published for the exhibition.