Sequences Biennial will open to the public from 13–22 October in Reykjavík, Iceland. Titled Can’t See, the Biennial explore the ever-growing threat of ecological destruction by delving into spaces that cannot be perceived by the human eye, from the depths of the sea and layers of the soil, imagining the debris of the past and visions of the future. Sequences: Can’t See is curated by Marika Agu, Maria Arusoo, Kaarin Kivirähk and Sten Ojavee, a curatorial collective from the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA).
Sequences real time art festival is an artist run biennial in Reykjavík. Sequences is an independent international art festival, which focuses on time based art. The aim of the festival is to produce and present progressive visual art. Amongst previous exhibiting artists are: Joan Jonas, David Horvitz, Agnes Martin, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Guido van der Werve, Ragnar Kjartansson, Emily Wardill, Roger Ackling, Margrét H. Blöndal, Carolee Schneemann, Rebecca Erin Moran, Finnbogi Pétursson and Alicja Kwade.
Past editions have been curated by local and international artists/curators, amongst others Margot Norton (New Museum, NY), Markús Thor Andrésson (Reykjavík Art Museum, IS) and Alfredo Cramerotti (dir. Mostyn, Wales).
Founding members of Sequences are artist run Kling & Bang galleri (est. 2003), the Living Art Museum (est. 1978) and the Icelandic Art Center, that together with artists active in the local art scene at each time, run the festival. Sequences is a non-profit organisation.
Þráinn Hjálmarsson & Þóranna Björnsdóttir
Time Has Come was the title for the tenth Sequences art biennale, held between 15-24 October 2021. The title was a reference to the ephemeral social space which the festival makes for itself each time.
2021’s festival included diverse artists’ dialogue, with their environment, history or other artists. Dialogue is by nature defined by the moment and context. It consciously and subconsciously includes the zeitgeist and prevailing ideas of the society at any given time. Where ideas within societies are dynamic and subject to change, like societies themselves, we get an opportunity to read the flow of time and the development of various social ideas. By stirring the accepted conventions in a society, we can stir up the time.
In 2021, the festival boasted a diverse group of artists who are all generous with their time, ideas and creative energy. They are able to drive projects and create a platform for dialogue and participation. This often resolves in artwork that include direct communication between the artist and a certain space or environment, and the connection to the audience created by the work. The dialogue between artist and receiver can then become an artwork in itself, it assumes a form that lives inscrutably in the mind of the receiver. The result is an artwork that communicates humane behaviour and ideas of the human condition and freedom.
Curators: Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir / Ingólfur Arnarsson
Honorary Artist: Kristinn G. Harðarson
Sequences 2019 was celebrated widely throughout Reykjavík, with exhibition venues including the Living Art Museum and Kling & Bang, both housed in the Marshall House in Grandi, Ásmundarsalur, Harbinger, Open and Bíó Paradís.
The subtitle of Sequences, real time art festival, points to the festival’s original focus on time-based mediums and live artworks. This year the concept of real time has been disrupted and the relativity of the concepts real and time are explored. Audience members will have an opportunity to become acquainted with realities and multiple points of views that may reflect upon the times we are currently experiencing. Ingólfur and Hildigunnur approach this idea through questions on reality and alternative realities, real time and relative time through a juxtaposition of multiple works.
“Time is momentarily real to every resident in it. The real time travels through countless channels that each revolve around each person that resides in it. It is healthy for everyone to dip their toes into others time channel, and thereby gain a new perspective on reality.”
Curator: Margot Norton
Honorary Artist: Joan Jonas
“Sequences VIII: Elastic Hours” presents constellation of art installations, performances, sonic works, video, and public interventions throughout the city of Reykjavík. While the Sequences festival uses the term “real time” to refer to time-based media, “Elastic Hours” considers how the term might be applied to the experience of art making, exploring how artists manipulate time as a raw material. The term “real time” also inherently conjures a juxtaposition with “unreal time,” posing the question as to why an abstract metric such as a clock may be considered more real than time as it is subjectively experienced. The clock allows for synchronicity, yet our concept of time is limited when considering microscopic or geologic time scales. Stretching, echoing, and inverting hours, the works included in Sequences VIII often go beyond standardized metrics to investigate alternative systems. These works remind us that our daily rhythms are not solely determined by tradition and locality but can be individualized—customized even—or rooted in natural forces beyond our control.
Curator: Alfredo Cramerotti
Honorary Artist: Carolee Schneemann
Curator: Markús Þór Andrésson
Honorary Artist: Grétar Reynisson