jump to navigation

I wish I was in Iceland March 6, 2009

Posted by Jennifer in : art,chess,travel , trackback

I have been to Iceland two times, and on the second visit, I was floored by both the beauty of the landscape—and how expensive everything was ($40 pizza anyone?). So, the bright side of the economic crisis in Iceland is that it would now be reasonable to eat, drink and shop there.  When I even think about visiting Iceland, I hear the music of Bjork and Sigur Ros in my head, and I calm down. My new relaxation therapy is to just say Iceland over and over again until any anger and stress melts away. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’d also love to visit right now to see the exhibit at the Reykjavik Art Museum, 32 Pieces: The Art of Chess in person. My friend Larry List is a co-curator of the show, and the sets look amazing. I probably won’t make it to Iceland in time to see the show live, but this has me thinking about what kind of chess set I’d create if given the task.

Pumpkin Chess, 2003

 I am totally in love with the first set by the Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama.   It’s my fantasy of form and function and I actually believe that I would use it.   Kusama broke the record for the highest sale for a female artist in history: 5.1 million dollars, so I guess I won’t be affording the Pumpkin set anytime soon. Check out a close up of the pieces:

Amorphous Organic by Alastair Mackie, 2008

This brings out some hidden phobias in me. How about Fear Factor Chess?

Kitchen Set by Paul McCarthy, 2003

This set by Paul McCarthy was in Moscow for a while, and Garry Kasparov played with it!

Chess Set by Jake and Dinos Chapman, 2003

This is my least favorite in some ways, and my favorite in another way. Most of the other sets in the exhibit make me smile, while this makes me feel sort of sick and angry, like I just lost a chess game.

Over There in the Bushes by Matthew Ronay, 2005

Can you figure out which piece is which in the set above? I will post the answer as a comment to this blog.

Read more about the show on CLO and the Reykjavik Art Museum website.



1. ted - March 8, 2009

I wish I was in Iceland too

2. A. Recluse - March 11, 2009

Your stress reducing Icelandic meditation sounds great, and the sets exhibited above induce provocative (if Freudian) thoughts in me. From top to bottom they remind me 1) of: porcelain Arizona cactuses; 2) Jurassic Park; 3) A confusing dilemma over whether the “triple ripple” is on the black Queen or White King and what the consequences of losing or winning could be; 4) a hemaphroditic species who use appear to have a dual use proboscis/phallus necessitating foreplay as mainplay for reproduction; and last but not least 5): Perhaps those are the pieces “the Robinson’s affair”. Mrs Robinson “put them in the pantry with her cupcakes” (from the lyrics to “Mrs. Robinson” by Paul Simon if Simon & Garfunkel in the movie “The Graduate” and on the record album “Bookends”. That would be an erect Ben (Dustin Hoffman) the forbidden daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) would be the slice of pizza (worth more than the $40 Iceland price) Mr. Robinson (William Daniels) would be the be the cheated rubber chicken, and those would be her cupcakes in the forefront and the family bacon not being saved once out of the pantry. The erect Ben and cute pie (Elaine) still in a wedding dress make a getaway on a bus. So chess can be racy and exciting.. though I still play with a standard Staunton set and with myself, of course. Great post with interesting links. Thanks! Love, A. Recluse. :-)

3. c. - March 12, 2009

Love your blog. Iceland sounds nice and your travel like a whirlwind. Fancy, provocative (and expensive?) chess sets! I’m guessing the pieces are pizza slice pawns (gobbled up fast), the the chicken sated from eating them, the tall one being the rook, the crossed bacon the bishop, and the cross-dressed cupcakes as Queen and King (blue for Queen and pink for King). All the sets are interesting indeed.. as are the visions they inspire. Love, c. :-)

4. c. - March 13, 2009

Hmmm…. then again it wold seem ironic if the knight was a chicken.. I’m puzzled. That first chess set is pretty!

5. jennifershahade.com » Naked Chess - April 18, 2009

[...] and Larry List. Larry wrote The Imagery of Chess, Revisited and was a curator for the recent show 32 Pieces in Iceland. Susan Barrett was the mastermind behind getting the event together, and we’re planning some [...]

6. John - April 26, 2009

I Wish I *Were* In Iceland. You’re an NYU English grad and you don’t know that?!? What are the diploma mills teaching these days?

7. Lance - May 8, 2009

I simply love your attitude. You use words in a creative refreshing manner.
If you want to send me a message because my chess club only 7 members now would love to have you visit us and do a simul and there is an excellent pizza place right next door. Seriously consider this. I played a simul against a gm recently and got wiped out . preformance anziety i think.

8. Canadian codeine on line. - January 26, 2010

Apap w codeine elx….

Codeine cough syrup. Codeine. London drugs cough syrup with codeine. Codeine source of. Phenergan and codeine. Can motrin be taken with codeine. Adverse effects codeine….

Post A Comment

  • Name:
  • Email Address:
    (required, will not be published)
  • Website:
  • Message: