The Icelandic Art Center announces that Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir has been selected to represent Iceland at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2024. The Biennale Arte is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world and as such it is a great honour for an artists to be selected as the national representative. Iceland has exhibited at the Biennale Arte since the 1960’s and has presented its own national pavilion since 1984. Many of Iceland’s leading artists have been chosen to represent the country at the Biennale Arte, e.g. Jóhannes Kjarval, Ragnar Kjartansson, Shoplifter, Sigurður Guðjónsson, Rúrí and Egill Sæbjörnsson. The Icelandic Art Center continues to be the commissioner of the Icelandic Pavilion, since 2007, at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia on behalf of the Icelandic Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs.
Throughout her nuanced practice, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir explores ideas of beauty, utility, and context, continually questioning the relationship between perception and reality. The artist often examines banal items such as computer buttons, plastic clips, and textile sprays, celebrating their simplicity and the fact of their essential existence. By presenting prosaic objects in new mediums and scales, Birgisdóttir overemphasizes their familiarity, but also questions the straightforwardness of their functionality. These shifts highlight the sculptural value of the original item and celebrate the aesthetics of objects that are normally overlooked.
Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir (b. 1980, Reykjavík) lives and works in Reykjavík. In 2021, she was included in shows at Iceland’s Reykjavik Art Museum; the GES-2 House of Culture, Moscow, Russia; the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia and H2H, Athens, Greece. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Iceland, the Reykjavik Art Museum, and The Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, among others. Birgisdóttir graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2003.
Iceland’s national representative was chosen through a mixed selection process beginning with receipt of suggestions and finalised with a selection committee consisting of experts in the local art scene. The suggestions were collected from a nominated representative from all of the officially qualified museums in Iceland, the Association of Artist Run Spaces, The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association as well as The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists.