Iceland will be represented at the 59th Venice Biennale by Sigurður Guðjónsson, known for his multimedia installations. The exhibition will take place in 2021 but the artist has already visited the Italian city seeking inspiration. “I’m just incredibly excited,” he told RÚV.
It was while studying at the Icelandic University of the Arts, and schools in Copenhagen and Vienna, that Sigurður discovered his passion for video as a medium of expression. “We [artists] are always pushing ourselves to look at new routes and open them.” He says “Video was a good fit for me.”
Sigurður’s path to the Biennale began in Reykjavík, exhibiting in small artist-owned places. He has since done more than 20 exhibitions around the world.
The selection process for Iceland’s Biennale representative was quite different from past years. While in the past the representative had been chosen from a group of previously nominated artists or groups, Sigurður was appointed directly by the Icelandic Art Centre.
Iceland has earned a reputation for making waves at the Venice Biennale. Last year, artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (AKA Shoplifter) transformed the exhibition space on the beautiful island of Giudecca into a landscape of multi-colored synthetic hair. Meanwhile, in 2015, Christoph Büchel and Nína Magnúsdóttir’s project “The Mosque” converted an unused church into a fully functional mosque. It was subsequently shut down by the Venice police.
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