Icelandic Pavilion, Iceland at Venice Biennale of Art - Arsenale, Castello - City of Venice
Exhibition in progress from April 23rd to November 27th 2022
The 59th Biennale Arte will open to the public on 23 April. But on the 20th, 21st and 22nd there will be the various openings and collateral events that always suddenly animate the Venetian artistic life. The awards ceremony will take place on the day of the opening to the public.
The title of the 59th edition of the Biennale d'Arte is Il Latte dei Sogni that means The Milk of Dreams.
The invited artists are 213 from 58 countries. There are 26 Italian artists, 180 the first participations in the International Exhibition, 1433 the works and objects on display, 80 new productions.
In all, 80 nations will participate in the Venice Biennale in the pavilions at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in the historic center of Venice.
Go to the page of the 59th Venice Art Biennale
Icelandic Pavilion, Iceland at 59th Biennale Arte of Venice
The title of the exhibition at the Icelandic Pavilion is Perpetual Motion.
Artists: Sigurður Guðjónsson.
Curators: Mónica Bello.
Commissioner: Auður Jörundsdóttir.
Seat: Icelandic Pavilion, Arsenale - Venice
Press Release of Icelandic Pavilion
The Icelandic Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia opens to the
public this week, unveiling Perpetual Motion, a multisensory sculpture by Sigurður Guðjónsson. The
artwork offers a poetic exploration of materiality at edge of the boundaries of perception, powerfully
combining moving images and sound to activate the space and create an entrancing, meditative
experience for visitors. The Icelandic Pavilion is curated by Mónica Bello and is located in the
Arsenale, for the first time this year.
Sigurður Guðjónsson is best known for his striking time-based media works that often focus on
man-made machinery and technical relics, investigating their enigmatic, hidden elements, just
beyond our field of vision. The artist experiments with camera lenses, perspective, light, and motion,
amplifying and observing these forms and the transformations that take place as they interact with
Perpetual Motion is staged as a split screen installation, with a six-metre-high
vertical screen, connected to a large-scale floor projection, that occupies most of the exhibition
space. The screens depict the constant drift of metal dust, amplified and magnified through the
artist’s camera lens. Visitors can immerse themselves in the movement of the abstract material, as
it warps and distorts, suggesting new shapes and imagery, such as the surface of an outermost
The interplay of sound and vision features throughout Guðjónsson’s oeuvre. The artist uses intricate
soundscapes as the foundation of his works, drawing out the acoustic properties of his visual
investigations to create a stronger link to the subject matter.
Perpetual Motion includes a visceral
soundtrack, developed by Guðjónsson and Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson, which responds
to the granulated texture of the matter in the moving images, using stacked electromagnetic sounds,
that have been manipulated via granular synthesis. The soundscape fills the Pavilion and envelops
visitors as they enter the artwork, forging a deeper connection with the frequencies of the metal dust
as it moves and pulsates across the screens’ surface.
Sigurður Guðjónsson says ‘I am proud to present Perpetual Motion at the Icelandic Pavilion. The
artwork is intended as a play on the boundaries between reality and fiction, depicting something that
is real but usually beyond our field of perception. I hope to offer visitors a poetic, multisensory
experience of materiality, that encompasses scale, light, dimension and motion, using sound and
video to transform the space in a sculptural way.’
This project has been realised in collaboration with Mónica Bello, the Curator of the Icelandic
Pavilion. Bello holds the position of Curator and Head of Arts at the CERN, the European
Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, fostering dialogues between artists, particle physicists
and engineers at one of the world’s leading laboratories. Bello’s curatorial work focuses on the
narratives in today’s techno-scientific culture and how artists instigate new enquiries around
Mónica Bello says ‘It is a pleasure to unveil Sigurður Guðjónsson’s work to international visitors at
the Biennale di Venezia. Throughout this project, he has inspired me with his deep fascination with
material natures and his unique creative process that uses minimalist environments, enriched by
sound and video. Perpetual Motion draws attention to the continual flux of energy and matter and
celebrates camera, vision, experimentation and perceptual spaces.’
To mark the opening of the Icelandic Pavilion, a new catalogue on Sigurður Guðjónsson’s career
and practice will be available to purchase from the Biennale Bookshop and online. The book, which
has been designed by Studio Studio (Arnar Freyr Guðmundsson, Birna Geirfinnsdóttir) in Iceland
and produced in collaboration with the Reykjavik Art Museum and Distanz Publishing in Berlin,
features artwork stills and installation photography of Perpetual Motion and selected recent and past
works, with a curatorial essay by Mónica Bello.
This has been a significant year for Guðjónsson, who has exhibited and performed internationally
ahead of his presentation at the Biennale Arte 2022. He will also bring his work to audiences at
home, performing his new multi-disciplinary work Enigma, in collaboration with composer Anna
Þorvaldsdóttir and multi-Grammy nominees The Spektral Quartet at the Reykjavík Arts Festival in
June. This will be followed by a major solo exhibition at the Reykjavík Art Museum in October,
coinciding with the installation of Perpetual Motion at BERG Contemporary, the artist’s
Iceland has exhibited at the Biennale Arte since the 1960s and has presented its own national
pavilion since 1984. This year’s presentation builds on Iceland’s intriguing, atmospheric displays of
contemporary art in Venice, which have most recently included Shoplifter’s neon, hypernatural hair
installation in 2019 and Egill Sæbjörnsson’s trolls in 2017. The Icelandic Pavilion is commissioned
by the Icelandic Art Center, which promotes and supports Icelandic contemporary art internationally
through grants, collaborations and projects.
Useful information for the visit
Gardens from 10.00 to 19.00. Arsenale from 10.00 to 19.00 (from 10.00 to 20.00 on Friday and Saturday until September 30th). Closed on Mondays (except May 13, September 2, November 18).
Tickets: please visit the official website.
Phone: +39.041.5218711; fax +39.041.5218704
E-mail: [email protected]