“Ylva and Snöfrid’s Transmutation Ritual, with Mirrored Spring, Snöfrid et les contre espaces, the Oracle and Tondo,” at LaPanacée, Montpellier, 2017. Photo: Olivier Cablat.


Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 24

12:00  → 20:00 

147 Spring Street


Over the course of Performa 19 Ylva Snöfrid will create Nostalgia – Acts of Vanitas, a new piece which is a living situation and an art work at once. In her temporary habitat in a New York City storefront, this new work will evolve through ongoing performances that incorporate the acts of painting, and drawing, the use of custom made furniture, and personal objects; domestic living activities such as bathing, cleaning, and cooking; and a series of conversations, tea ceremonies, and dinners in a dedicated performance of everyday life.


Nostalgia–Acts of Vanitas is the last part of a decade long artistic journey that began with Snöfrid at Her Mirrors, an Odyssey (2009) in which the artist moved parts of her household and its functions into an exhibition space, merging for the first time her life and work into one entity. Later Snöfrid created The Painter’s Studio in the Shadow World (2016) in Athens, Greece, covering the creative and familial aspects of the artist’s life, this holistic artwork has remained closed to the public. As a threefold mirror of the work in Athens, Snöfrid created Fantasia, a Reflection of the Painter’s Studio in the Shadow World, Divided in Three Parts, Dystopia, Heterotopia, Utopia (2019), an installation that the artist inhabited and painted through a series of performance rituals at the 16th Istanbul Biennial.


Snöfrid will conclude in New York the Odyssey that started 2009, amidst the traces and remains of the process of Nostalgia – Acts of Vanitas (2019). For the duration of the biennial, the audience is invited to the artist’s temporary habitat, a work at large that starts in blank, over and over again. Here the viewer will meet the work of art, its present, future, past and imagination, in an encounter between the viewer and the artist and the things needed to live and work.


Ritual undergirds Snöfrid’s work: in 2017, she transformed from Ogland (née Ogland), the artist/mother/woman, to Snöfrid, her “mirror twin,” in an 8-hour transmutation performance at La Panacée in Montpellier. Using her vagina as an entrance to the mirror world and paintings as trays for a serving ceremony to transmute with her spiritual alter ego, the artist notes: “Since early childhood she lived in the imagination that Snöfrid was her mirror twin, who had her own persona and lived in the mirror world. For many years Ylva tried to get Snöfrid out to the real world through rituals, substances, paintings and big marionette dolls. As a consequence of this process Ylva and Snöfrid transmuted to One, the artist and the artistry became one, became me.”




Invested in the transformative potential of the otherworldly, Ylva Snöfrid (b. 1974, Sweden, lives in Athens and Stockholm) creates paintings and mixed media installations using ceremony as a means to allow artwork to transcend into spiritual manifestations and forms. Earlier Ylva lived in what seemed to be the real world, while Snöfrid lived behind the mirrors, in the so-called mirror world, (a world which is often described as less than real). Snöfrid has been there since Ylva’s childhood, acting as her mirror twin. Later, she became a part of Ylva’s “art” (“art” as per what “artists” do). For many years, Ylva brought Snöfrid into the world through rituals and ceremonies, again and again and again…until they were finally fused into one – Ylva Snöfrid. Since some years Ylva Snöfrid has been working and living in a secluded holistic art work in Athens The Painter’s Studio in the Shadow World. This work is not open to the public and consist of over a hundred paintings, various objects, a home school, hundreds of drawings, furniture made for the paintings and so on.



Ylva Snöfrid’s Performa Commission is curated by Kathy Noble, Senior Curator, Performa and Anna van der Vliet, Director of ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art, with Uchenna Itam, Curatorial Assistant, Performa. Nostalgia – Acts of Vanitas is co-commissioned with Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art, Gothenburg and co-produced by The Daniel Sachs Foundation. Additional support provided by Iaspis/the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and the Swedish Arts Council.