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2019 by Freya Björg Olafson


website last updated Dec 2019

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2005 - 2014


At the intersection of performance, visual and digital arts, HYPER_ explores the limits of perception. By shifting the dimensionality of the live body in relationship to the immersive screen Hyper_ moves between 2D and 3D representations of corporeality. HYPER_ inherently becomes a site for expanded choreography where virtual bodies, cyber dancers and the contemporary reinterpretation of everyday gestures converge. The performer’s physique is dissected and transformed, disappearing and merging with the stage and screen. Animated by a series of transformations, layered and colorful, the body becomes our dreamscape. HYPER_ deploys an intriguing combination of UV light, 3D glasses and large video projections on a black scrim to create stunning illusions and features lighting design by Hugh Conacher.


2010 - 2014


Marrying the physicality and immediacy of contemporary dance with the virtual ambiguities of online social networking, Avatar is a cross-disciplinary hub for experimentation and inquiry. As director and subject of her hybridized performance endeavours, Olafson engages what she calls a “duet with technology” – navigating digitally altered notions of exhibitionism, orientation, and identity.


2009 - 2013


A collaborative performance entitled The Island by Freya Olafson (Winnipeg), Arne MacPherson (Winnipeg), Ingibjörg Magnadóttir (Reykjavik) and Friðgeir Einarsson (Reykjavik). The project facilitates an artistic bridge between two distant but similar places: Iceland and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Isolated and cold, each is a wellspring of creative energy. The project focuses on our cultural and contemporary encounters with the phenomenon of isolation and its profound personal and emotional connotations. 
2010 - 2012
Brief Encounters
Sustained Engagement


Brief Encounters & Sustained Engagement is part of Freya’s AVATAR series exploring methods of creating, validating and disseminating one’s identity through the use of technology and the Internet. The series is inspired by the mantra “I post therefore I am”, whereby Internet users legitimize their existence by documenting their lives and uploading this media to personal webpages and blogs. The work in this series facilitates an inquiry into our desire to share and publicize our lives. This work was an real time online performance through the platform Chatroullette 





    During The Springboard Danse Montreal Project in July 2007 I had the opportunity to create an installation dance work under the mentorship of artistic director/ choreographer of Cas Public, Helene Blackburn. The Springboard Danse Project concluded with a performance of the new works of four selected emerging choreographers (including myself) alongside those of participating senior choreographers Christopher House, Helene Blackburn, Roger Sinha, and Melanie Demers in Montreal at Usine C on July 13th, 2007.





is an intermedia performance that draws parallels between the cross-cultural experiences of Freya Olafson’s 19th century ancestors and her own present-day identity, as a Canadian of Icelandic decent and a prairie born Manitoban. In February 2006, the Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art (Winnipeg) presented Freya’s performance entitled, New Icelander: The Search For Sesselja alongside their exhibit Volcana: Icelandic Panorama. It spoke to the living translation of cultural history with the intention of bringing together art forms, experiences, and individuals through shared stories of passage.


In this further developed work simply titled NEW ICELANDER Ms. Olafson references the Icelandic River Saga written by Manitoban genealogist, Nelson Gerrard, chronicling the history of the settlement of The New Republic of Iceland, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Through the manipulation of both the visual images and stories within this “saga” Freya is able to interpret history, figuratively resurrect her ancestors and in the process discover and create her own mythology.


2006 - 2007

NEW ICELANDER: The Search for Sesselja


Drawing upon parallels in their Icelandic-Canadian experience Olafson & Oleson craft a story that connects the 19th century life of Sesselja to her granddaughter Freya's present-day identity through a network of contemporary languages. The story is told in six chapters, each marked by the projection of one of Olafson's paintings to serve as a backdrop - transmitting history and memory through a vibrant, graffiti-inspired aesthetic. Before these raw, gestural paintings Olafson performs in a style of dance that blends classical training, contemporary expression, and the directness of performance art.


Each chapter is also distinguished by a distinct musical soundscape where Olseon entwines earthy, organic music with synthetic, digitally-rendered audio - played on a variety of instruments that include mountain dulcimer, electronic viola, accordion, and glockenspiel. As a whole, pushing the themes of VOLCANA into more physical, human territory, these young female artists speak to the living translation of cultural history. New Icelander: The Search for Sesselja also functions as the seed of a larger project intended to congregate art forms, experiences, and individuals through shared stories of passage.


2005 - 2006