The US Embassy sponsors Down Иorth
The US Embassy in Iceland has given the Reykjavík Art Museum a substantial grant for the art exhibition Down Иorth: North Atlantic Triennial, which will be set up at Reykjavík Art Museum - Hafnarhús in the autumn of 2022. Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Director of the Reykjavik Art Museum, and Michelle Yerkin, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Embassy in Iceland, signed the agreement at Reykjavík Art Museum - Hafnarhús today. Michelle Yerkin stated: “The U.S. Embassy is delighted to sponsor Down Иorth: North Atlantic Triennial. Art transcends oceans and borders, while creating deeper understanding between nations. We believe it is imperative to connect over important issues such as the environment and the challenges of the Arctic.” Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir stated: “It is extremely important to us to receive recognition for the project and the financial support provided by the embassy."
Down Иorth is an international collaborative project of three art museums – the Reykjavík Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine in the USA, and the Bildmuseet in Umeå in Sweden. Preparations for this extensive exhibition have been going on since 2018, and it has the special feature of being dedicated to contemporary art around the North Atlantic. The subject is how the artists of this part of the world deal with challenges in connection with changes in the environment, the biosphere, and the structure of society in the present and future. As they deal with changes in the Arctic, their work reflects a changed attitude towards the North, where old-fashioned ideas and clichés are turned upside down. The aim is to focus on the common challenges that the people of the Arctic face and how they create empathy across borders and cultures.
The exhibition will first be set up in the United States in February of 2022. It will then arrive in Reykjavík in the autumn of 2022 and run until 2023. Following Iceland, the exhibition will be set up in Sweden.
The exhibition will feature works by more than 30 rising and well-known contemporary artists. The Icelandic artists who have been selected to participate are Anna Líndal, Arngunnur Ýr, Magnús Sigurðarson, Ragnar Axelsson, and the artist duo Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson. The American artists are Lauren Fensterstock, Reggie Burrow Hodges, Justin Levesque, Christopher Carroll, Peter Soriano, Jason Brown aka Firefly, and Josh Reiman. Other artists come from Maritime Canada, Greenland, Faroe Islands and the other Nordic countries.
The curator of the exhibition on behalf of Iceland is Markús Þór Andrésson, Chief Curator of Reykjavík Art Museum. Jaime DeSimone and Anders Jansson direct the exhibition on behalf of the art museums in Maine and Umeå.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition catalogue and is set up with a substantial program, film screenings, educational programs and events for children and families.