Skinned Cod Fish Lights

Posted: March 04, 2012
Skinned Cod Fish Lights
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Talk about lighting that makes a statement, sets a mood, and shows up all your friends with bass, elk, and golden retriever taxidermy. Skinned cod fish, or Uggi, lights are the fantastical creations of Icelandic artists Dogg Guomundsdottir and Fanney Antonsdottir. The two skin and clean by hand fish measuring anywhere from 28 to 39 inches and, after allowing them to dry and shape against molds, turn cavities that used to be filled with guts and entrails, into luminescent works of art. The process takes up to 3 weeks.

Uggi lights reflect an old Icelandic tradition of wind-drying whole fish on specially constructed wood racks--"Uggi" means "fish fin" in Icelandic. The imagery of the racks filled with fish is a mainstay in the country's culture, and the illuminated cod pays tribute to this nostalgia and old-world industry. It also re-imagines and preserves the aesthetics of the process for those of us who were not raised amidst fish stank, and whose unaccustomed noses would take one whiff of actual legions of drying cod, and switch our gag reflexes into full-on projectile vomit mode.

So far, Guomundsdottir and Antonsdottir have made fewer than 50 fish lamps total. They were first displayed in 2001, as an exhibition of 14 in The Museum of Decorative Arts in Copenhagen. Since then, they have completed tours in galleries throughout 9 countries. An installation of 25 Uggi lights is currently installed at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland.

For more information, or to forgo food for a few months in favor of owning an Uggi light, contact the artists at [email protected].

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