ICELANDIC PAVILION AT THE 59TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION, BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2022
curated by Monica Bello
Artist: Sigurður Guðjónsson
Commissioned by Auður Jörundsdóttir, Icelandic Art Center
Venue: Artiglierie building, Arsenale, Venice
Technical Support in Venice
Icelandic Pavilion unveils Perpetual Motion a large-scale multisensory sculpture by Sigurður Guðjónsson, at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
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 their environment.
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 planet.
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.
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.
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: https://icelandicartcenter.is/
Sigurður Guðjónsson, Installation view: Perpetual Motion, Icelandic Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition –– La Biennale di Venezia, 2022, Courtesy of the artist and BERG Contemporary, Photos: Ugo Carmeni