Lectures & Literary past

Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir In Conversation with Dan Byers Artist Talk — Taste of Iceland


SAT—May 13—3:30 PM, free

The Taste of Iceland culture festival returns this May to NYC! On May 13, join us for a talk with Icelandic artist Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir in conversation with curator Dan Byers (John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University).

Throughout her nuanced practice, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir explores ideas of beauty, utility, and context, continually questioning the relationship between perception and reality. The artist often examines banal items such as computer buttons, plastic clips, and textile sprays, celebrating their simplicity and the fact of their essential existence. By presenting prosaic objects in new mediums and scales, Birgisdóttir overemphasizes their familiarity, but also questions the straightforwardness of their functionality. These shifts highlight the sculptural value of the original item and celebrate the aesthetics of objects that are normally overlooked.

In today’s program, Birgisdóttir, who will represent her country at the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2024, will discuss her work and practice with Dan Byers, who will be the curator of the Icelandic Pavilion that year. 



About the Speakers

Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir (b. 1980, Reykjavík) lives and works in Reykjavík. In 2021, she was included in shows at Iceland’s Reykjavik Art Museum; the GES-2 House of Culture, Moscow, Russia; the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia; and H2H, Athens, Greece. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Iceland, the Reykjavík Art Museum, and The Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, among others. Birgisdóttir graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2003. In 2024, Birgisdóttir is to represent the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale in Italy.

Dan Byers is the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. In addition to leading the Carpenter Center’s program of exhibitions and events, he teaches curatorial studies in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies and at the Graduate School of Design. Dan Byers will be the curator of the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2024.

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