With support from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and Promote Iceland the Icelandic Art Center has signed an agreement with the Venice Biennale’s office regarding an exhibition space in Arsenale, one of the biennale’s main exhibition venue. Around six hundred thousand visitors usually visit the Arsenale for each biennale, which means that the number of guests in the Icelandic pavilion will be almost twenty times higher than in recent years.
“I’m very pleased that more people will experience Iceland’s contribution to the next Bienniale. Participation in the Venice Biennale has proved to be an important lever for Icelandic artists and I am confident that this will continue,” says Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education and Culture.
Ever since 1984, the Icelandic exhibition was held in the Finnish Pavilion that was located in the Venice Giardini, where many countries have built their own pavilions. Since the Icelandic Art Center took over the project in 2007 the Icelandic Pavilion has been located in various buildings all over the city. Steingrímur Eyfjörð (2007) and Ragnar Kjartansson (2009) both exhibited in Palazzo Michiel dal Brusa by Canal Grande, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson (2011) and Katrín Sigurðardóttir (2013) set up in an old laundrette Palazzo Zenebio in Collegio Armno Moorat-Raphael in Dorsoduro. Cristoph Büchel exhibited in Santa Maria della Misericordia (2015), and in 2017 and 2019, Egill Sæbjörnsson and Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter exhibited in a warehouse on the Venetian island of Giudecca, Egill with his troll pals Ugh & Boogar and Shoplifter with her installation Chromo Sapiens.
“Iceland has a successful history at the Venice Biennale and over the years, many of our most talented artists have been represented there. Now we have the opportunity to be located inside the core of the biennial and more guests can visit us. It is extremely important to us,” says Auður Jörundsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Art Center.
Lightroom by Sigurður Guðjónsson, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and BERG Contemporary.
Sigurður Guðjónsson will be Iceland’s representative at the Venice Biennale 2022. Gudjonsson is known for his powerful video works where visual, audio and space create an organic whole.
The Icelandic Pavilion is commissioned by the Icelandic Art Center.