October 2 – November 28, 2015
Basel & Zürich & Biel & Bern, Switzerland
This year edition of CULTURESCAPES festival has a special focus on visual art with over 20 Icelandic artists coming to present their works in Basel, Zurich, Bern and Biel.
Although different events, featuring such world known names as Dieter Roth (in Gallerie Stampa, Basel) and Ragnar Kjartansson (in Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zürich) are to happen at various times during CULTURESCAPES 8 weeks programming, the main focus of the program is at the Visual Art Opening Weekend, October 16-18, 2015.
Seven art venues are to open on October 16th in Basel with CULTURESCAPES exhibitions and with additional events over the following weekend.
All the projects of the Visual Art program shall set a vast and rich canvas of contemporary art scene of Iceland, for the first time on such a scale and density in Switzerland.
As festival curators, Kateryna Botanova and Jurriaan Cooiman, putit: “Dealing with this unending stream of excitement that comes from outside means for those on the island deep connections to another Iceland – more real and private – and a quite particular sense of identity and belonging. In life it translates into a quite particular “homeland” phenomenon, when lots of Icelanders, especially in creative and financial sectors, study and work abroad, but at a certain moment they do come back for good or for longer time. In art it creates a strong, but very subtle layer of constant questioning and reconfirming this connection to “home”. As multimedia and performance artist Egill Saebjornsson simply put it: “I have a strong connection to my Icelandic background, but not as an artist, as a human being. Of course, it translates into art somehow, but I’m not able to put a finger on it yet.”
Interestingly enough art from Iceland is rarely overtly political, but mostly very sensual, performative and ironic. Two tension lines seem very important here – nature and landscapes, and a social fabric of society”.
Participating artists and art-spaces include: Egill Sæbjörnsson, Ragna Róbertsdóttir, Pétur Thomsen, Einar Falur Ingólfsson, Kling og Bang gallery, Kristján Gudmunsson’s works from the private collection of Pétur Arason and Ragna Róbertsdóttir, Icelandic Love Corporation and Kunstschlager.
The non-profit foundation CULTURESCAPES was created as the organizer of the festival with the aim to support culture and the cultural exchange between Switzerland and other countries in a sustainable way.
All forms of culture and art, such as music, theater, dance, literature, movie, visual art, art involving new media and academic exchange, should be promoted and supported.