REYKJAVIK .- Sequences Biennial
announced the full list of participating artists for its 11th edition, which will open to the public from 1322 October in Reykjavík, Iceland. Titled Cant See, the Biennial explores 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.
Curated by Marika Agu, Maria Arusoo, Kaarin Kivirähk and Sten Ojavee, a curatorial collective from the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Sequences XI will feature a central exhibition, displayed across four local institutions (The Nordic House, The Living Art Museum, National Gallery, Kling & Bang) and a wider programme of installations, performances, workshops, concerts and more, taking place across the city. Aiming to bring people together during Icelands darkest time of the year, the exhibition will run beyond the ten-day period, enabling more visitors to experience
the artists work.
The artist selection reflects the curators interest in fostering new and deeper connections between the Baltic and Icelandic artistic communities, spotlighting unique, decentralised narratives from these geographical and cultural borders. With over 45 participants confirmed, the biennial will present new commissions and site-specific installations, alongside artists existing works and for the first time, loans from Icelandic and Baltic museums.
The curators say: Coming from Estonia and working in Iceland with this diverse group of artists has been an exciting and thought-provoking process, exploring how their ideas matched with our own. It has also been equally thrilling to spotlight existing, sometimes rarely exhibited works from artists and museum collections, which are so valued and loved by locals. It has been a privilege to be an advocate for smaller, sometimes yet to be heard narratives.
Ahead of the Biennial, there will also be a satellite event held by Sequences at HIAP Helsinki, Finland on 8 September, featuring special performances from Icelandic emerging artists Brák Jónsdottir and Dúfa Sćvarsdóttir.
Sequences XI Artist Highlights
Sequences XI will feature some of the most exciting emerging and established artists from the Baltic and Nordic regions, interwoven with visionary artists across the world. With a multidisciplinary, cross-generational line-up, highlights will include Estonian sculptor Edith Karlson, who will exhibit a new iteration of her piece Cant See (2023), which inspired the title of this edition of Sequences. Karlson, who will also represent Estonia at the 60th Venice Biennale, is known for her eerie installations and dark humour and this sculpture will depict a hybrid creature from between the land and sea, looking at the uncertainty of the world. She will be exhibited at Nordic House alongside Lithuanian artist Emilija karnulytė who will be presenting a large-scale, immersive video installation, Sirenomelia (2017), contemplating deep time and invisible structures, from the mythological and cosmic to the ecological and political. Ukrainian artist Katya Buchatska will present a painting of silt, collected from the new land, exposed again after the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and the vast natural and humanitarian catastrophe that it caused in early 2023.
There will be public and site-specific installations situated across Reykjavíks city centre and the harbour. Nigerian American artist Precious Okoyomon, who is known for her vast installations composed of living, growing and decaying natural materials, will create a new commission in collaboration with American artist Dozie Kanu. Presented in Seltjarnarnes historic lighthouse in Grótta, the work will explore wind as a central element in Icelandic nature. The Estonia-based American artist John Grzninch will also focus on wind, creating site-specific harp towers that channel local wind patterns into sound. Icelandic-Polish artist Grzegorz Łoznikow, will present ephemeral ice sculptures in public spaces, that melt only leaving a plague behind.
The Biennial will feature performances by Norwegian artist and saxophonist Bendik Giske, who has received critical acclaim for the physicality, vulnerability and endurance of his performances. For Sequences he is working with Icelandic musician Úlfur Hansson. Estonian artist and musician Netti Nüganen, will restage her piece The Myth (2022), for which she won Estonias best performance award last year. Korean American writer, artist and musician Johanna Hedva brings together mystical and political states in cathartic live performances, which are informed by the Korean tradition of Pansori singing, which demands rehearsal next to waterfalls in order to ravage the vocal cords.
Participating from Iceland, Icelandic-Polish artist Pola Sutryk will be setting up her own studio-kitchen as a festival hub. Bjarki Bragason will present a major new commission at Kling & Bang, which will deconstruct, transport and resurrect his grandparents garden, which was on the verge of destruction, within the gallery space. Bragasons practice often involves expeditions to Icelands glaciers, exploring how geological and human time manifests itself within places and nature. Also reflecting on Icelands unique landscape, artist Ţorgerđur Ólafsdóttir will exhibit a new public artwork, looking at the unique Surtsey Island from the shore of Iceland in Kambarnir, Hellisheiđi.
Other local artists have reflected on Icelands traditions and folklore, such as Hrund Atladottir, who will project a new video work which will be based on the old practice of útisetur, spending time dwelling in and connecting to nature. Brák Jónsdóttir, an exciting new voice in the countrys art scene, will present a new sculptural commission that aims to create new mythologies for our contemporary era by reimagining and creating new extinct or otherworldly creatures.
In addition to contemporary artists, for the first time Sequences will feature museum-loaned historical artworks to bring significant historic artists to new international attention. This includes works by beloved Icelandic artist and beloved art teacher for many generations Valgerđur Briem from Gerđarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum, and unique wooden sculptures by Gudrun Nielsen from Safnasafniđ The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum, together with legendary Icelandic painter Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval, one of the countrys most important and celebrated artists. The Icelandic artists are put in dialogue with historical artists from Eastern Europe: leather artist Elo Järv, who is having a moment of rediscovery in Estonia, with inclusion in three major exhibitions this autumn, Zenta Logina, a Latvian artist with a spectacular body of works who worked during the Soviet occupation. Works will also be displayed by Agnes Denes, the iconic land artist who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s who is internationally known for her immense public installations such as Wheatfield and The Mountain.
Full List of Participating Artists
Agnes Denes (Hungary)
Alma Heikkilä (Finland)
Anna Líndal (Iceland)
Anna Niskanen (Finland)
Antti Laitinen (Finland)
Bendik Giske (Norway) in collaboration with Úlfur Hansson (Iceland)
Benjamin Patterson (US)
Bjarki Bragason (Iceland)
Brák Jónsdóttir and Dúfa Sćvarsdóttir (Iceland)
Brynhildur Ţorgeirsdóttir (Iceland)
Daiga Grantina (Latvia)
Daria Melnikova (Latvia)
Dénes Farkas (Estonia)
Edda Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir (Iceland)
Edith Karlson (Estonia)
Elo-Reet Järv (Estonia)
Emilija karnulytė (Lithuania)
Gerđur Helgadóttir (Iceland)
Grzegorz Łoznikow (Poland/Iceland)
Gudrun Nielsen (Iceland)
Guđrún Vera Hjartardóttir (Iceland)
Gústav Geir Bollason (Iceland)
Hrund Atladóttir (Iceland)
Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (Iceland)
Johanna Hedva (US/Korea)
Johhan Rosenberg (Estonia)
John Grzinich (US/Estonia)
Jussi Kivi (Finland)
Kadri Liis Rääk (Estonia)
Kärt Ojavee (Estonia)
Katja Novitskova (Estonia)
Katya Buchatska (Ukraine)
Monika Czyzyk (Poland/Finland)
Naima Neidre (Estonia)
Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa (Guatemala)
Netti Nüganen (Estonia)
Ólöf Nordal (Iceland)
Pakui Hardware (Lithuania)
Pola Sutryk (Poland/Iceland)
Precious Okoyomon and Dozie Kanu (US)
Radio Gufan (Iceland)
Sigurđur Einarsson (Iceland)
Ţorgerđur Ólafsdóttir (Iceland)
Uku Sepsivart (Estonia)
Vaim Sarv (US/Estonia) in collaboration with Flaaryr (Argentina), Ásta Fanney (Iceland)
Valgerđur Briem (Iceland)
Zenta Logina (Latvia)
Young Boy Dancing Group (Switzerland, Netherlands, Estonia)