Reykjavik Arts Festival 2015

It´s all about the art´s in Iceland these days. There is a lot of discussion about Iceland´s contribution at the Venice Biennale where the Swiss artist Christoph Büchel set up a mosque which has caused some controversy both in Iceland as well as in Venice. At the present there is, however, more focus on The Reykjavik Arts Festival which is an annual feast of the arts for all art lovers making Reykjavik a very interesting city at the moment.  Running until June 7 the festival features close to thirty visual art exhibitions and performances focusing on various issues concerning women´s equality a century after women´s suffrage was introduced in Iceland.

Dorothy Iannone, “The Next Great Moment In History Is Ours” (photo by Joachim Littkemann)

Dorothy Iannone, “The Next Great Moment In History Is Ours” (photo by Joachim Littkemann)

Frenjur og Förnarlömb ©Rakel McMahon

Frenjur og Förnarlömb ©Rakel McMahon

The exhibitions mostly take place in Reykjavík in established and unconventional museums and spaces with over seventy visual artists represented, both Icelandic and international ones.  There is a Swedish Jazz Trio, an Indian dance company and American artists such as The Guerrilla Girls, Richard Serra and Dorothy Iannone just to give you an idea of where the artist come from.  On the opening day of the festival a new billboard work was unweiled in the city centre by the American female art group the Guerrilla Girls.  They are known for their three decade long fight for equality within the art world using humour and statistics wearing their signature gorilla mask.

Misty Rain ©Saga Sigurðardóttir

Misty Rain ©Saga Sigurðardóttir

Shantala Shvialingappa ©Elian Bachini

Shantala Shvialingappa ©Elian Bachini

An exhibition of the works of Dorothy Iannone (1933), The Next Great Moment in History is Ours, focuses on her works from the late 60s and early 70s. Dorothy challenged the norms of the prevailing culture with her art and opinions during this period and her work was the subject of fierce criticism and censorship for a long time. Only in the past decade has her work seen a growing interest with some major exhibitions at New York´s New Museum (2009) among others.

Þegar myndir tala ©Gabríela Firðriksdóttir

Þegar myndir tala ©Gabríela Firðriksdóttir

A group exhibition a t the National Gallery of Iceland, SAGA: When images speak, aims to reflect the narrative part in Icelandic visual art. Works by many of Iceland´s canons in the art world can be viewed there by artists such as Björk, Dieter Roth, Erró, Jóhannes S. Kjarval, Ragnar Kjartansson and Ólafur Elíasson.

Verksummerki ©Agnieszka Sosnowska

Verksummerki ©Agnieszka Sosnowska

The festival offers a wide array of events including concerts, dance performances, theater events and of course all kinds of art exhibitions. It runs until June 7th and more detailed information can be found on the Reykjavik Arts Festival´s webpage www.artfest.is

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