Codex Polaris

Codex Polaris is presenting the Iceland -Norwegian artist book project SIGLA BINDA with 5 Icelandic and 5 Norwegian artists.

Is a cross-border collaboration rooted in the love of artist's books, with ambitions to create art that touches both the mind and the eye. Six years ago the two artists groups Arkir and Codex Polaris established contact and started planning a joint Nordic participation at CODEX 2019; America's largest book fair for "the handmade book as work of art". In the aftermath of this impressive event, we have stayed in touch and developed a joint concept with the book object in the centre entitled SIGLA BINDA.

To humankind the text-image combination and its physical carriers; the stone tablet, the papyrus scroll and the codex format, have had a magical attraction since the dawn of history. Overpowering objects that link us to the people of the past, to the divine and to the law. Norway and Iceland have common cultural roots, through the Norwegian settlement in Iceland, through language, storytelling traditions and not least through their connected book history. These two countries also share links in terms of shipping, fishing and other natural conditions. The iconic stories about Norway, written down in Iceland, are priceless and a central part defining our modern states and self-understanding as cultures, even today.

The terms binda and sigla – which we have chosen as the title for our project, are two of many common words between Norwegian and Icelandic. They have both concrete and abstract meanings related to our existence  , to the sea that binds us together, to our artistic practice between tradition and innovation and to the historical ties between our nations.