Your country doesn’t exist – do it yourself
In the year 2011 at a reception in the Icelandic embassy in Berlin (embassy for Germany, Netherland and Poland) where Icelandic art and beyond was been presented, we asked the ambassador Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson, to collaborate with us in a new iteration of the project Your country doesn’t exist. Due to lack of funds the exhibition had a “shoe-string-budget”. Our response was to request the ambassador to provide labour for their piece in the show. Specifically, we asked him to complete a painting by numbers version of Your Country Doesn’t Exist – Do It Yourself. Before agreeing to the project, Gunnar Snorri consulted with the Icelandic Foreign Ministry. They advised him not to participate and to request a new proposal. We insisted and through conversation opened a space for diplomatic compromise. In the original proposal, the ambassador had been asked not to fill in all the numbered fields of the painting, leaving the drawing and numbers of the painting visible. Gunnar Snorri suggested that he do the painting but leave the “N’T” field unpainted, attempting to reverse the negation. All parties agreed on this compromise.