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Wunderkind Collective

Founded in 2011 by Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir and Rakel McMahon, Wunderkind Collective is a multidisciplinary performance art duo based in Reykjavík, Iceland. Wunderkind Collective continuously explores society through the individual experience, its implicit solitude and absurd nature. Examining the oscillation between privacy and voyeurism, fondness and fetish, memory and the debris of nostalgia. Their work emphasizes the human condition as a paradoxical one. Their research process is based on interviews, dialogues, painting and sketching, which culminates in performance. 

In addition to their collaboration, the two artists actively work on their individual practice, as well as collaborations with other artists.

WAITING ROOM is a three-channel video installation by the performance duo and Icelandic filmmaker Dögg Mósesdóttir. The short film explores themes of suppressed sexuality, pop culture, the surreal, the absurd and the unconscious. WAITING ROOM tells the story of three main characters, a male and two females, based on gender stereotypes, who juggle within the realm of exhibitionism and voyeurism. 

"How do signature poses we repeatedly see the mass media, social media, movies and porn, come to existence? "

The female characters take on familiar stereotypical roles of women, and those of women watching themselves being watched. A repetition appearing throughout art history and mythology and  in contemporary culture such as pornography and social media. The male character, a leather clad loner, is the typical pervert. Exploring the absurdity of perversion in relation to social norms, but also approaching gender issues concerning masculinity, such as the conflict of suppressed feelings, sexuality and domination.

Previous work by Wunderkind Collective includes the performance –The Days of The Child Prodigy Are Over from 2011, which has been performed internationally in Helsinki, Oslo and Berlin to name a few. The multidisciplinary performance explores themes of child prodigies, and the focus on success in modern society, through dialogue, images and music. The performance tells the fragmented story of three characters; Betus the Fetus, a prenatal child prodigy, Beethoven a forgotten genius, and the Mother, a former prodigy who turned to pornography as a relief from the pressure. She is the remote voice of nostalgia, longing for a world she might never have known but perceives to be lost. 

Anat Eisenberg, Saga Sigurðardóttir, Yair Vardi, Einar Tönsberg and Eva Berger have all collaborated on the performance. 

Interview with Betus the Fetus

View more of Rakel´s work on and Instagram.

WORDS Sara Torcato
PHOTOS Rakel McMahon