Sjón on Henry Moore


“When you look at me, I become a reclining figure.” The renowned Icelandic writer and poet here interacts with a sculpture by the pioneering British sculptor Henry Moore.

“Once there was only the possibility of me. The metals that would become me. Metals that could have become something else. Or just stayed the way they were,” Sjón writes.

Sjón (b. 1962 as Sigurjón Birgir Sigurosson in Reykjavík) is an Icelandic writer, poet, playwright and lyricist. Sjón is the author of several poetry collections and novels including the novels ‘The Blue Fox’ (Skugga-Baldur) (2003) for which he received the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2005, ‘The Whispering Muse’ (Argóarflísin) (2005), From the Mouth of the Whale (Rökkurbýsnir) (2008/2011), and ‘CoDex 1962’ (2016/2018). Sjón, who has been active on the Icelandic music scene since the early 1980s, is also known for his collaborations with legendary Icelandic musician Björk and was nominated for an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for the song ‘I’ve Seen It All’ from the film ‘Dancer in the Dark’. In 2016, he became the third writer to contribute to the Future Library project.

Henry Moore (1898-1986) is considered one of the most important British sculptors of the twentieth century. Moore was particularly renowned for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which came to symbolise post-war modernism and can be said to have caused a British sculptural renaissance. For more see: https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore

In the video, Sjón reads a text about Henry Moore. The text is called ‘Thoughts of a Reclining Figure’ and the focus of the text is ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5, 1963-64’ by Henry Moore written for the anthology ‘Looking Writing Reading Looking – Writers on Art from the Louisiana Collection’ (2019). More information here: https://www.artbook.com/9788793659216.html

All works by Henry Moore © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS / VISDA

Camera: Klaus Elmer

Edited by Kasper Bech Dyg

Produced by Kasper Bech Dyg and Christian Lund

Sound recordings by Pejk Malinovski

Cover photo: ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5, 1963-64’ by Henry Moore. © The Henry Moore Foundation

Works by Henry Moore © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS / VISDA

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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