We aim to prove that private galleries with curatorial experience can be innovative and stimulating, that they look forward to active interaction with the public and not only follow the market rules of competition. This is not an art fair! On the contrary - Villa Reykjavik is a result of the general disappointment with the formula of art fairs. In addition, the project stems from the conviction that private galleries which collaborate with given artists play a decisive role in determining the shape of contemporary art field and the directions of its explorations. The way we propose to collaborate is different. If only in a small scale we want to release a collective energy, and rediscover our common denominator - art in its many manifestations, a penchant for experimentation and risk.
We will witness a significant geographical shift with the focus on this one particular place on the map. All the invited galleries will, for a month, thus creating an international art district. Solo exhibitions or projects involving a few chosen artists will be organised. A review of private European galleries - from Vilnius and Warsaw to London and Reykjavík - will thus take place next to each other, creating a place of meeting and confrontation.
The opening of Villa Reykjavik is planned for 9 July 2010. The first week of the international art district will be very special - full of openings, concerts, performances, meetings, and many other events. Each day has a meticulously planned agenda. Artists collaborating with the participating galleries will be present. Lukasz Ronduda will prepare a special programme of experimental films. The Icelandic part of the entire undertaking is in the hands of Kling & Bang from Reykjavik.
One of the clubs in the city will become the club of Villa Reykjavik. This will be the focal venue where everybody will have the chance to really interact, where all the guests and participants of the project - gallery owners, curators, artists, and the public - will have a chance to meet.
Villa Reykjavik is yet another incarnation of the idea of a meeting coined by Raster Gallery in the summer of 2006 in Warsaw. Ten galleries (Foksal Foundation Gallery,gb agency, Hotel, Daniel Hug, Ibid Projects, Jan Mot, Galeria Plan b, Raster, galleries Joeclyn Wolff and Zero) met then in an abandoned villa in the city center, a house owned by the eccentric amateur artist, Antoni Moniuszko. Hidden behind wild shrubbery, the building was changed into an extraordinary exhibition space. The few days of the project were filled with performances, spectacles, or contemporary dance presentations, while the evenings were busy with the mingling crowds of art professionals and art lovers.
We find analogies with the capital of Iceland - with its the seemingly peripheral character but also a great potential. The apparent distance of Reykjavik from the art centres of Europe ensures conditions which are perfect for a meeting, without the quotidian gallery work routine. But this is not the only advantage - we will also have a chance to get better acquainted with the local art and music scene.
The project was organised by Raster, Warsaw.
Foksal Gallery Foundation
Galerie Jocelyn Wolff
Kling & Bang
Tulips & Roses