Artist Sigurður Guðjónsson will represent Iceland at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale, which will take place in 2021. Born in Reykjavik in 1975, Guðjónsson is known for his collaborations with composers for multimedia installations and video works that aim to produce synesthetic experiences. The artist first began exhibiting his work in artist-run spaces in the Icelandic capital. He has since been featured in more than twenty group and solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Iceland; the Reykjavik Art Museum; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany; Arario Gallery, Beijing; Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway; and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, among others.
In 2018, Guðjónsson received the Icelandic Art Prize for his exhibition “Indoors,” which was staged in the morgue of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hafnarfjörður. The jury described the show as a “visual experience in which the viewer becomes conscious of his/her own existence and body.” Guðjónsson has also been a member of the faculty of the Academy of Arts for many years. He was selected for Iceland’s pavilion by the Icelandic Art Center.
Last year’s pavilion on the Venetian island of Giudecca was transformed by artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, better known as Shoplifter, into a cave of multicolored synthetic hair, and for the 2015 edition of the biennial, Christoph Büchel and Nína Magnúsdóttir converted the former Catholic church of Santa Maria dell’Abbazia della Misericordia, which had been closed for forty years, into a fully functional mosque. The project was shut down by the authorities following an evaluation by a public safety committee.