press release

Opening Weekend May 15-18, 2008 With Chartered Flights to Akureyri and Seydisfjördur

The Reykjavík Arts Festival will launch on May 15, 2008 with a groundbreaking series of visual and performing arts programs that will involve most of the city’s exhibition spaces and extend to other locations in Iceland. This year will mark the Festival’s second focus on contemporary visual art, following the critically acclaimed program presented in 2005 and curated by Jessica Morgan of Tate Modern and Björn Roth, son of artist Dieter Roth. It will feature more than 30 exhibitions of over 60 Icelandic and international artists, with most exhibitions on view trough July or August 2008. The Festival will also present a full performing arts program from May 15 through June 5, 2008.

Rooted in Iceland’s famous tradition of hospitality, a special opening weekend will celebrate the launch of the Festival, with receptions held at most venues, and featuring a one-day flight around the country to visit the exhibitions presented in the North and East. The program will end with an art project and reception at the Blue Lagoon geothermal pool.

One of the highlights will be the Experiment Marathon Reykjavík, an exhibition and program of related events organized by the Reykjavík Art Museum (RAM) and the Serpentine Gallery, London. From May 15, the RAM will become a laboratory in which leading artists, architects, film-makers, academics, and scientists will create an environment of invention through a series of installations, screenings, performances, and experimental films. The exhibition and related events are curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London, in collaboration with artist Ólafur Elíasson.

The Experiment Marathon Reykjavík builds on the enormous success of the recent Serpentine Gallery Marathons, which have taken place in successive Serpentine Gallery Pavilions, an annual architectural commission conceived in 2000 by Serpentine Gallery Director, Julia Peyton-Jones. In the 2007 Serpentine Gallery Experiment Marathon, which took place in the Pavilion designed by Ólafur Elíasson and Kjetil Thorsen, leading artists, writers, and scientists performed a huge variety of experiments, exploring perception, artificial intelligence, the body, and language. Participants included John Brockman, Steven Pinker, Marina Abramovic, and John Baldessari. The event was a collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. The Serpentine Gallery Marathon series began in 2006 with the 24-hour Interview Marathon conducted by Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Other highlights include; in Reykjavík: • Dreams of the Sublime and Nowhere in Icelandic Contemporary Art at the Reykjavík Art Museum/Kjarvalsstadir. Presented concurrently with work by landscape architect Martha Schwarz • Art Against Architecture at the National Gallery of Iceland, featuring the works of Finnbogi Pétursson, Monica Bonvicini, Elín Hansdóttir, Steina (Vasulka), and Franz West • Reflection - Icelandic Contemporary Photography, a group exhibition in The National Gallery of Photography in The National Museum of Iceland • Work by Paul Armand Gette and Halldór Ásgeirsson at The ASÍ Art Museum • An exhibition of works by Swedish artist Karl Holmqvist at The Living Art Museum (aka Nylo) • Croatian Contemporary Art at Gallery 100° • An exhibition by Rúrí at Start Art • An exhibition of work by Sirra Sigrun Sigurdardottir at Kling & Bang • A series of events entitled Module taking place throughout Reykjavík and organized by Ladån/The Mobile Box • Dialog Project created by Anne Leoniak and Fiann Paul on view at the crossroads of Lækjargata and Austurstræti • An installation entitled Atlantis, created by Tea Mäkipää and Halldór Úlfarsson in Reykjavík’s small pond, Tjörnin • An exhibition by Ernesto Neto at Gallery i8 and an exhibition of Andrea Maack at Gallerí Ágúst

Near Reykjavík: • An exhibition entitled Wanwood, with artists Hannes Lárusson, Gudjón Ketilsson, and Helgi Hjaltalín at the Reykjanes Museum • Work by Magnús Kjartansson (1949–2006) at LA Art Museum

In North Iceland: • Facing China at the Akureyri Art Museum with paintings and sculptures by prominent contemporary Chinese artists • Displacement at The Icelandic Folk Art Museum featuring work by several artists, including Anna Líndal

In East Iceland: • A joint project presented by three arts institutes on the themes of installation and performance, curated by Björn Roth. Participants include Hrafnkell Sigurdsson, Christof Buchel, and dancer Erna Ómarsdóttir.

Most exhibitions will be on view through July/August. A complete Festival program—including concerts, theater, dance, and opera performances—will be available on the festival’s website, , at the end of February.

Press Conferences will be held in Reykjavík on February 26, and in New York and London the first week of March 2008.

The Main Festival Sponsors are Kaupping Bank, Icelandair, Samskip and Radisson SAAS.

About the Reykjavík Arts Festival: One of the oldest and most respected arts festivals in Europe, the Reykjavík Arts Festival seeks to promote Icelandic and international culture in all fields of art. Recognized as a premiere venue for outstanding acts in the performing arts, the Festival started expanding its focus on contemporary visual arts in 2005 with an ambitious tribute to Dieter Roth curated by Jessica Morgan of Tate Modern and Björn Roth, son of the artist. The Minister of Culture and Education and the Mayor of Reykavík founded the Festival in cooperation with arts institutions and the Federation of Icelandic Artists. Thorunn Sigurdardottir serves as the current artistic director.

only in german

Reykjavík Arts Festival 2008
Künstlerischer Direktor: Thorunn Sigurdardottir
Kuratiert von Jessica Morgan

Experiment Marathon Reykjavík
Kuratiert von Hans Ulrich Obrist und Olafur Eliasson
Ort: Reykjavík Art Museum

Festival Künstler: Olafur Eliasson, Martha Schwarz, Finnbogi Petursson, Monica Bonvicini, Elin Hansdottir, Woody Vasulka & Steina, Franz West, Paul Armand Gette, Halldor Asgeirsson, Karl Holmqvist, Ruri , Sirra Sigrun Sigurdardottir, Anne Leoniak, Fiann Paul, Tea Mäkipää, Halldor Ulfarsson, Ernesto Neto, Andrea Maack, Hannes Larusson, Gudjon Ketilsson, Helgi Hjaltalin, Magnus Kjartansson, Anna Lindal, Hrafnkell Sigurdsson, Christof Buchel ...