Gabríela Fridriksdóttir in 12th Biennale de Lyon
Meanwhile… Suddenly, And then
September 12 – January 5 2014
As with previous Biennale de Lyon Thierry Raspail, the artistic director, invited Gunnar B. Kvaran, the curator to think in terms of a key word. The word has remained the same for three successive Biennales and is always a common word with topical connections and a fairly vague semantic range, a word capable both of artistic and societal interpretations. The first word, in 1991, was History. Then in 1997 it was Global, followed by Temporality in 2003 and, from 2009 to 2013, Transmission. When he submitted the word Transmission to Gunnar B. Kvaran, he responded in literal fashion with the word Narrative. The term is no more a subject than it is a title. It is merely the starting point for a dialogue upon which we are constructing three platforms.
For the Biennale de Lyon 2013, curator Gunnar B. Kvaran has invited artists from all over the world who work in the narrative field and use art to experiment with the modalities and mechanisms of storytelling. The exhibition gives pride of place to the ingenuity and inventiveness of contemporary artists in undoing mainstream narrative codes and off-the-peg plotting devices in order to tell new stories differently. Amongst them are Erró and Gabríela Fridriksdóttir.
b. 1971 in Reykjaík, Iceland, where she lives and works
In the work she is presenting at the 2013 Biennial Gabríela Friðriksdóttir looks into the question of twilight, that time of day when darkness begins to infiltrate light – or vice versa.
Out of Norse mythology and the Icelandic sagas she creates melancholy environments whose meticulously handled media – video, sculpture, drawing, performance, text, painting – give rise to fictive cosmologies rooted in her country of origin. These works are narratives and simultaneous experiences giving pride of place to emotion and the enigmatic, irrational forces that govern our existence.
b. 1932 in Ólafsvík (Iceland); lives and works in Paris
In the course of the encounters made during his travels in Cambodia in 1993, Erró collected eyewitness accounts and documentary material relating to Khmer Rouge atrocities. Blending history painting and the graphic novel, his oeuvre rearranges and recycles visual aspects of language in a uniquely provocative way: narratives made up of intermingling images saturate the picture space, triggering fresh episodes whose surface polish conceals a disturbing, salutary political critique.
The Lyon Biennale is curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran. Here he introduces the exhibition (in french).