quarta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2009

Steve MCqueen to represent britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale

Born in London in 1969, McQueen works predominantly in film and is considered one of Britain’s most influential artists. He was awarded the first ICA Futures Award in 1996, the Turner Prize in 1999 and an OBE in 2002. His work is represented in museum collections throughout the world and he has shown widely in important group and solo exhibitions. These include Documenta X and XI, the 50th and 52nd Venice Biennales, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Museu Serralves, Oporto, Fondazione Prada, Milan, and the Renaissance Society, Chicago.
As Official War Artist to Iraq, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in 2003, McQueen generated international media attention with one of his rare non-film works Queen and Country. His first feature film Hunger, commissioned by Channel 4/Film 4, won both the Camera d’Or and an International Film Critics Federation Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, in addition to the inaugural Sydney Film Prize, for best film at the Sydney Film Festival.
Deadpan 1997, 16mm black and white film, without sound transferred to DVD - 4min 30sec

Steve McQueen is represented by Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. He lives and works in Amsterdam and London.

For more information please contact Eleanor Hutchins on +44 (0) 207 389 4981 or email Eleanor.Hutchins@britishcouncil.org.

McQueen is represented by Thomas Dane Gallery, London. For inquiries please contact Martine d'Angelejan-Chatillon at martine@thomasdane.com or phone +44 (0)20 7925 2505. For further information about the gallery, please visit www.thomasdane.com

The British Council works with an advisory committee of leading arts professionals across the UK who advises on the artist selection for the Venice Biennale every two years. This is to ensure that the selection process is transparent and broadly based. The advisory committee met on June 19 2008 and was made up of:

- Martin Barlow, Director Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno
- Katrina Brown, Director The Common Guild, Glasgow
- Penelope Curtis, Curator Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
- Stephen Deuchar, Director Tate Britain
- Alex Farquharson, Director Centre for Contemporary Art, Nottingham
- Jack Persekian, Director Al Ma’mal Foundation, East Jerusalem
- Declan McGonagle, Chair in Art & Design & Director School of Art and Design, University of Ulster, Belfast
- Magdalene Odundo, Professor of Ceramics, University College of the Creative Arts, Farnham
- Richard Riley, Head of Exhibitions, British Council
- Adrian Searle, Chief Critic, The Guardian
- Chair: Andrea Rose, Director of Visual Arts, British Council

If you are interested in the minutes of the meeting, you can download them here.

The 53rd International Art Exhibition in Venice will run Sunday 7th June – Sunday 22nd November 2009. Next year the British Council will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary. It has commissioned artists to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale to celebrate the best of emerging and established British artistic talent since 1938, including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, Anish Kapoor, Mark Wallinger, Paul Nash, Gilbert & George, and most recently Tracey Emin in 2007, amongst many more.
The Icelandic Pavilion

Ragnar Kjartansson
to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale in 2009

The artist Ragnar Kjartansson has been chosen to exhibit on Iceland’s behalf at the 53rd Biennale in Venice 2009. Born in 1976, he is the youngest artist ever chosen to represent the country in this important international venue where the art world gathers every two years to see the most exciting new art brought in from every corner of the earth.

Icelandic artists were first sent to the Venice Biennale in 1960 but in the last decade, more funding and effort has been expended to support and promote the representing artist, reflecting the growing importance of such international art events. Most recently, Iceland was represented in 2007 by Steingrímur Eyfjörð, in 2005 by Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, in 2003 by Rúrí and in 2001 by Finnbogi Pétursson – all artists who exhibit internationally and have built a strong reputation in and outside Iceland. Until 2005, the Icelandic artists were exhibited in a small pavilion built in 1956 by Finnish architect Alvar Alto in the Giardini di Castelli exhibition gardens. In 2007, however, Steingrímur Eyfjörð’s exhibition was mounted in the Palazzo Bianchi Michiel on the Canale Grande, reflecting the expansion of the Biennale in recent years as more and more exhibitions are held outside the gardens traditionally reserved for the event. The location of Kjartansson’s exhibition has yet to be announced.

Ragnar Kjartansson graduated from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in 2001 but his artistic development has been rapid and he has already had twelve private exhibitions in five countries and taken part in some thirty group shows. He has built a body of work that is at once highly individual and easily appreciated, combining performances, video, sculpture and painting. In addition to his work in the visual arts, Kjartansson has a career in music, having released several albums with his bands and performing around the world. His contribution to the Reykjavík Arts Festival in 2005, though staged in an abandoned rural meeting house far from the city, was one of the most successful events of the festival and brought him to the attention of the international press. Like many of Kjartansson’s works, it combined drawing and painting with a dramatically staged setting and a performance piece that tested the artist’s endurance as he spent twelve hours a day for two weeks in the draughty, unheated building, dressed in fading theatrical costume, his face streaked with stage blood, strumming a guitar and singing to himself, gradually adding details to the chaotic installation. Kjartansson often highlights such themes as sadness, regret and loneliness, but his approach and execution are always fresh and intensely personal, forging a strong bond with the viewer and captivating audiences wherever he exhibits.

With Ragnar Kjartansson, the Icelandic pavilion in Venice in 2009 will feature a young artist who has in a remarkably short time built an impressive roster of international exhibitions and an engaging individual style that stands out even in today’s crowded global art world. He is a worthy representative of the vibrant young art scene in Iceland, a cutting-edge contemporary artist with strong roots in cultural tradition and a keen eye for the tragicomic spectacle of human experience.

The choice of an Icelandic artist for the Biennale is in the hands of a committee that this time included Christian Schoen, Director of the Center for Icelandic Art, Hafþór Yngvason, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum, and the artist Rúrí who herself exhibited in Venice on Iceland’s behalf in 2003. Two further consultants were brought in to assist in the deliberations: Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Director of the National Gallery of Iceland, and Kristján Steingrímur Jónsson, Head of Visual Arts at the Icelandic Academy of Art. Christian Schoen is the commissioner for Iceland’s pavilion in Venice and the project is overseen by the Center for Icelandic Art, which in turn is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

Commissioner: Christian Schoen
Assistant: Rebekka Silvía Ragnarsdóttir
Curators: Markús Þór Andrésson & Dorothée Kirch
Commissioning Institution: CIA.IS – Center for Icelandic Art

Hafnarstræti 16
IS-101 Reykjavík
Tel: 00354-562 72 62
Fax: 00354-562 66 56