© 2019 by María Guðjohnsen. 

The Taxi Dialogues,

Solo Exhibition 2018

Client

Personal Project

A solo exhibition in Berlin, Germany.

I. The Taxi Dialogues

A video installation featuring voice recordings from taxi rides that the artist recorded in the past three years with supporting internet-found footage. It captures casual encounters with taxi drivers, where a set of conversational rules apply, and have not changed their ways for a long time. It is an encounter that can not happen anywhere else.

“The recordings are from Taxi rides that I have taken myself in Reykjavík, Berlin, New York and London. I started doing it when I was very drunk. I continued to record every single ride for the next three years and I never had any idea what to do with it. I searched for TAXI on youtube and went on page 12. Page 12 is very far back. I did this to find all these weird videos that I then cut together on my built-in moviemaker app. This is the result“

II. Yep, I do remember these

 A set of posters featuring 3D graphics that are compilations of memories and stories from strangers. Each poster tells a visual story for a memory. 

“I‘m very synesthetic. These collages or images are a conclusion of my synesthetic feelings towards these memories that I have not seen myself.“

“Me and my friend had been at the club for a long time and were completely drained. We didn‘t feel like having social interactions or walking home. We hailed a cab in front of the club and we were greeted with heavy tobacco smell. The taxi driver had long brown hair and had not taken a shower in days. He sat on a white fur carpet that had stained completely grey. The car was extremely dirty. He had obviously been driving this car around for decades. From the dashboard to the middle of the two front seats, he had covered each dirty spot of the car with little plastic toy cars. We didn‘t bother to question any of this and tried to sit in silence. He kept on asking us where we came from and how the club was that night and we answered tiredly. He then offered my friend a cigar which he refused. He lit the cigar inside the car and closed all the windows. He kept chatting the whole way home and pushing the cigar onto my friend.“

“We walked to a bar to buy drugs off a sketchy looking guy in his 40s that used to stay in the bar. We were going to Karaoke and I somehow convinced the drug dealer to come with us to sing a few songs. We were a group of 4 and we had already ordered a taxi. When he arrived, we asked if it was okay that there was 5 of us and we would just squeeze. The guy had a baby seat in the back and he said he could only take three of us since he wouldn‘t move this otherwise portable seat. After a bit of a discussion, he moved the baby seat to the trunk and after he told us that it would be no problem to squeeze one in the back. We all got into the car and left the drug dealer to be stored in the trunk. For the whole way he played really dramatic classical music and we couldn‘t believe the absurd situation we were in with our drug dealer in the trunk of the cab heading to karaoke“

“We hailed a cab down to go across town to a park. We got into the cab and the driver spoke almost no english. We told him where we wanted to go and he agreed. He looked so scared or nervous and the whole scenario seemed very fishy. We were chatting to him the whole way and around half-way he told us that he did not have a license. We finally got it out of him why he was driving and he told us that he was covering for his little brother that was lost. We were in complete schock and asked more about his brother. He stopped the car and asked us politely to get out because he had to go look for him and charged us nothing for the fare. When we were about to walk away, he called us and asked us since we were from Iceland if we liked fish. We said sure, and he told us to wait. He got out of the car and got a bag from his trunk and gave it to us. He said his uncle was fishing earlier and forgot the fish in the trunk, and told us we could eat it in the park since we liked fish so much. Then he drove away and left us completely speechless.“

Photos from the Exhibition