The Icelandic Art Center and Künstlerhaus Bethanien have signed an agreement regarding residencies for Icelandic artists in Berlin from 2020-2025. Each residency stay spans one year.

Künstlerhaus Bethanien was founded in 1974 and is one of the most prestigious and distinguished art venues in Germany. Normally, around 25 artists from all over the world work at the venue, which offers an international network of contacts and collaborations within the contemporary art scene. The residency allows participating artists access to a powerful, international contact network; curators, museum staff, journalists and others who work in the field. The Künstlerhaus also organises exhibitions, publishing and events for the artists-in-residence. While there, each artist holds a solo exhibition, planned by Künstlerhaus Bethanien. On offer is a private studio, 40 m2 in size, and full access to workshops and library. The resident artist can live in the studio if they so wish, as it contains a kitchenette and a bed. Artists who have been working for a while and are interested in seeking opportunities outside Iceland are preferred, and we assume they have exhibited their work in museums and known exhibition halls here and abroad.

Each year there will be an open call for applications. Preselection of candidates will be carried out by the Icelandic Art Center’s professional committee, but the final selection is in the hands of Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Next open call will be in August 2023 for the May 2024- May 2025 period.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Culture and a Viljandi, Memorial Fund.

Selected artists

2020 – 2021: Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson

Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson (b.1984) is a storyteller, a performer, a dancer, an object maker, an illustrator. He has a love for the absurd, by which is meant less an obsessive passion for the ridiculous, nonsensical or the odd, than a tender and caring attitude: he takes care of the absurd, he helps it to develop, he gives it a place alongside everything else where it can be your most disturbing neighbour and your best friend. More often than not Styrmir uses the written language as a genesis of his work. Written pieces are then adapted into live performances that activate objects, things and gestures. The performances and their narrative, that often are delivered as monologues, serve as an exhibition device for autonomous art objects. Styrmir lives in Berlin.

2021 – 2022: Elín Hansdóttir

Elin Hansdottir studied at Iceland Academy of the Arts and later finished her masters degree at KBH-Weissense in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited widely, most importantly at Institute for Contempary Art in Berlin, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, i8 Gallery, Den Frie in Copenhagen and at the Marrakesh Biennale. Hansdottir´s work is centred around the human being and alterations of the human surroundings whether through architectural manipulations or optical illusions.

2022 - 2023: Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir

Anna Júlía Fridbjörnsdóttir is an artist based in Reykjavík. She combines various mediums to explore the intersection between science and culture informed by historical and current politics. She finished her MA Fine Arts degree from Manchester School of Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University (2004) and BA Fine Art degree from Guildhall University, London (1998). She also studied at The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in 1993-95. Anna Júlía was a co-founder and editor of Sjónauki Art Magazine, published in 2007-2009. Her works have been exhibited in numerous international group exhibitions and at solo shows in Iceland, including the exhibition Serenade at Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art in 2017, for which she was nominated for the 2018 Icelandic Art Price. Currently, her work is part of the exhibition Iðavöllur at the Reykjavik Art Museum.

Further info on the artist