Katrín Sigurdardóttir

Sculptural installation: Foundation for the Lavanderia-The Old Laundry at Palazzo Zenobio
Size: intersects both inside and outside of an auxiliary building 18th Century Pavillion - approximately 90 sq. meters.

This work is in a baroque style, which uses strong leading lines and exaggerated detail to produce feelings of grandeur. The size of the piece itself spans almost 970 sq feet.
This work is also representational of the floor plan of a traditional pavilion, utilizing negative space around the wall where pillars would have been. The piece has a monochromatic color scheme and is artisanal tile handmade by the artist and her team.  The patterns in the floor have nice symmetry and repetition that echo throughout the whole piece.  The artist thought about the entire experience of walking through the piece, even the view outside of the floor from above. The artist wanted to ensure that the viewer was able to "enter from different points, navigate in multiple ways, and view from several levels, so that the visitor is both in the work and at the same time able to observe herself in the work."
Overall the artists works is defined by lack of presence: rooms without people or color, and interiors pared down to anonymous essentials that exist as markers of the artist's specific memories. This is important to the artists aesthetic, although this is her first full scale architectural interpretation.

The footprint of the sculpture is similar to an 18th century pavilion, which is an architectural building that was familiar to Sigurdardóttir, but this footprint has her own memories intertwined with them. "By superimposing an elevated, highly decorative surface onto the Lavanderia, Sigurdardóttir brings the two buildings, the pavilion and the laundry, together. The pavilion, symbolizing the opulence and leisure of the owner, is contrasted by the laundry’s associations with labor." Her control of the architectural elements has more to do with the the memory of those elements rather than the accuracy of them. "The project is born from a career-long exploration of distance and memory and their embodiments in architecture, urbanism, cartography, and landscape." Also because Iceland lacks its own pavilion in the Giardini, the sculpture becomes a metaphor for the outline of the national space, and its mark on the Biennale.

 The thing that I find interesting is that after the Biennale is over, it is going to "Reykjavík Art Museum and then to the SculptureCenter in Long Island City, New York. Sigurdardóttir will adapt the sculpture to the new architecture of each location, yet it will maintain its original footprint as well as the cut-out memory of the walls of the previous sites."  I find the fact that she will leave a ghost of each location at each place it is installed to be appealing, and I would love to travel to visit this exhibition in each of its other locations to experience it. I feel like this is a great example of how artwork can grow into something of its own. I can't wait to be able to experience it when we are in Venice.

Katrín Sigurdardóttir explains, “This work is about drawing. It’s about labor, and it’s about spatial immersion. I wanted to create a work that could be entered from different points, navigated in multiple ways, and viewed from several levels, so that the visitor is both in the work and at the same time able to observe herself in the work. This work is both new and familiar, familiar in that it will key into a twofold perception—to experience and concurrently observe oneself experiencing—a kind of existential trickery that I have played with in previous works. It is new in that it’s my first full-scale architectural interpretation.”

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