INTERVIEW WITH KOLBEINN HUGI + FRZNTE
For the opening of Cycle Festival's 'Reacción a Islandia' at PAVILION NORDICO on April 10th, 2019, artist duo and real life couple Kolbeinn Hugi (IS) and Franziska Zahl a.k.a. FRZNTE (DE) put on their HYPER HYPER participative performance extravaganza with Helium Karaoke. PAVILION NORDICO team member Nele Ruckelshausen interviewed them about their work.
Nele: Hi guys. Tell me a bit about you and your artistic practice.
Kolbeinn Hugi : I’m a visual artist from Reykjavik, Iceland, and I work with performance, installation and music. I live in Berlin.
FRZNTE: I’m Franziska. I’m a project manager, DJane and pole dancer, and I also live in Berlin.
What kind of music do you deejay?
FRZNTE: It really depends on the event. In general, it’s a wild mix of dance, trap, hip hop, disco, eighties and also music that I find when I travel - I call it travel music. And it all
When did you start working together?
Kolbeinn: Well, everything started at this wild party at the Icelandic ambassador’s house in Berlin - an event thrown by Cycle - where Franzi was deejaying and I was doing this weird blue lagoon mud performance. But we were so excited to be there together, that we made these matching t-shirts that said “HYPER HYPER”. We weren’t working together back then but it was from those t-shirts everything started. The first HYPER HYPER performance, including test run of the helium karaoke, happened on the birthday of the Berlin art museum.
FRZNTE: We also did some video work together - Kolbeinn directed a video of me doing my pole dancing.
Since you come from deejaying and pole-dancing, do you consider yourself an artist?
FRZNTE: I never considered myself an artist, I mostly worked, and still work as, a project and production manager. I started deejaying simply because I loved music, but then FRZNTE grew into its own little art project. The first time I appeared as an artist was actually at Cycle’s event at the Icelandic ambassador’s house. It was really strange to read my “artist bio” in the program. Today you can live in so many different roles.
What is your performance project about?
Kolbeinn: It’s a wild mix of everything. Anything can be a performance! HYPER HYPER has art elements but it’s also It’s an interactive dj set, a dance performance, a karaoke party, and then it has the strange element of helium added on top. We’ll also making our own music of the performed karaoke by looping various parts of the audience’s singing.
FRZNTE: No, it's HYPER HYPER!
Photograph by Dagurke