Grand scale happenings featuring artists and performers from all over the world are presented at this year’s Reykjavík Art Festival, taking place at various venues across the city and the countryside from May 10 to May 26. The festival has been held biannually since 1970 and annually since 2004. Since its early days the festival’s organisers have aimed at promoting arts and culture to the public by bringing together a broad spectrum of local and international artists and offering a varied programme of contemporary art exhibitions and world-class events.
This year the festival will open with a ceremony at the National Gallery of Iceland on May 10. Among performances at the opening event are the Hamrahlíðarkórinn choir, a cooperative project between Ghostigital and artist Finnbogi Pétursson featuring an unusual composition for concert and radio transmitting and a concert with the music group Konono No° 1 from Congo.
The Art Festival overlaps with the French Pourquoi Pas? festival, now in its final days, and together the two bring us the world-renowned French street-theatre group Royal de Luxe for a three day extravaganza in the city centre. In cooperation with the music festival Rite of Spring, the extensive programme also includes Goran Bregovic along with forty musicians from the Balkans, performing the Tales and Songs for Weddings and Funerals at Laugardalshöll on May 19.
There sure will be enough to choose from during the three-week period with art exhibitions, concerts and theatre performances scheduled every day. Among the highlights not already mentioned are from the multi award-winning Swedish jazz-trio E.S.T, playing Nasa, performances by the San Francisco Ballet, theatre group Cheek By Jowl staging Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, two new Icelandic plays and an exhibition of Icelandic design that will open at Kjarvalsstaðir on May 19.
For a full programme, see www.artfest.is.