“These are international discoveries from unfamiliar places, true international artists whose work feels tangibly of its place, who take some searching out and who do not yet speak the ubiquitous art Esperanto that makes so many contributions to so many biennials feel so interchangeable.”
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times
The inaugural North Atlantic Pavilion brought together artists from Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands as part of City States at the 2012 Liverpool Biennial. Curated by Andy Brydon and Ingi Thor Busk.
Hosted in the former Royal Mail Sorting Office at Copperas Hill, the exhibition featured new works from artists including Sigurður Guðjónsson (Iceland), Hanni Bjartalíð(Faroe Islands) and Jessie Kleemann (Greenland). The preview event featured a live performance of Sassuma Arnaa / The Mother of the Sea by Jessie Kleemann, Iben Mondrup and Niels Lyngsø.
The exhibition showcased installations, performance and moving image works by artists from countries in the North Atlantic. Their work challenges and dissects the tensions that exist in embracing a strong national and regional identity – focusing especially on work that questions the received notions and surface appearances of what ‘hospitality’ means.
The geographical region explored in the pavilion represents a unique interaction of diverse localised cultures spread over a vast area that, all at one time in recent history, have been officiated over and represented to the outside world by the Danish Flag.
The North Atlantic Pavilion asks how, in a world being transformed by the digital era, nationalism and regional identity remain constructs of mythical narratives implemented on specific artifacts: artifacts that will be exposed to further acts of territorial negotiation in the context of Liverpool Biennial 2012.