About the film

Seeing Eye Dog relates the life and practice of visual artist Birgir Andrésson (1955-2007). As an only child Andrésson grew up in an unusual setting, both his parents were blind and they all lived in a home for the visually impaired in Reykjavik. In this community of blindness he was the only one with full sight and often said that he was the sole set of eyes in the home.

This peculiar background became a source for the artist’s profound interest in the relationship between the language and image, presence and absence. Language, along with the vanishing Icelandic way of life, which rapidly accelerated when Iceland opened up to the outside world mid 20th century, determines the foundation of Andrésson’s work. 

The documentary is constructed of narratives from family members, friends and colleagues and is composed with visuals inspired by Andrésson’s art along with his own voice. A lyrical reading by author Kristín Ómarsdóttir accompanies the viewer throughout, either filling in the blanks or suggesting ambiguities concerning Andrésson’s open, playful and yet profound artworks.

Seeing Eye Dog outlines a portrait of Birgir Andrésson from birth until his passing. He was in many ways a singular artist, known for his grand personality and a leading voice among his peers in the Icelandic contemporary art scene. He sought to cast a light on the “particularities” of Icelandic culture and history. The documentary however seeks to highlight Andrésson’s own peculiar life and how the man and his art reflect one another.  

Appearance by Andrés Gestsson, Gísli Helgason, Bjarni H. Þórarinsson, Hannes Lárusson, Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson, Pétur Arason, Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon, Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Guðmundur Oddur Magnússon, Jón Proppé, Kristinn E. Hrafnsson, Þröstur Helgason, Steinunn Svavarsdóttir.

Narrated by Kristín Ómarsdóttir.

Seeing Eye Dog was made with support from : The Icelandic Film Centre, The Icelandic Visual Art Fund, The Regional Development Fund of East Iceland, The Regional Development Fund of South Iceland, Alcoa Fjarðarál, Hagþenkir, Minningasjóður Margrétar Björgólfsdóttur

 

Credits

 

Written, directed and edited by Kristján Loðmfjörð

Produced by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir

Co-producers Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon, Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson

Sound Design Huldar Freyr Arnarsson, Ragna Kjartansdóttir

Cinematography Kristján Loðmfjörð, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Visual Effects Henrik Linnet

Postproduction Supervisor Bjarki Guðjónsson

Color Grading Luis Ascanio

English Translation Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

Translation consultant Gavin Morrison

Graphic Design Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson

Graphics Ingvi Örn Þorsteinsson

Length: 62 min
Shooting format: HDV
Exhibition format: DCP
Icelandic premier: November 9, 2017
Country: Ísland