The last Icelandic artist to exhibit in the Alvar Aalto pavilion in Venice’s Giardini, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir (b. 1971) titled her exhibition in the 2005 Biennale Versations/Tetralogia. Her multimedia installation combined painting, sculpture, and bas-relief as well as the four-video piece Tetralogia, which was created in collaboration with Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Daníel Ágúst Haraldsson, and many others. Architect Birgir Þröstur Jóhannsson designed a façade to compliment the content of the work and also designed the interior structrure for Friðriksdóttir’s installation. Versations/Tetralogia takes aim at exploring the boundaries and tensions between different media and their use in furthering the chaos, excess and disorder of contemporary society. Friðriksdóttir also plays with the line between reality and dreams, having drawn on Icelandic spiritualism to create her own personal cosmology and fantastic mythology. Her work at the Biennale also references the conversations amongst Icelanders over time about narrative works in Iceland’s long literary tradions—but in her title, she leaves out the “con” in “conversations,” suggesting that conversations are often attempted but seldom fully realized.
Commissioner an curator: Laufey Helgadóttir
Artist’s assistants: Birgir Þröstur Jóhannsson, Jóhann L. Torfason, Sigurður Guðjónsson.
Committee: Hrafnhildur Schram, Olafur Kvaran, Jóhann L Torfason