Egill Sæbjörnsson, the artist selected to represent Iceland, handed over the creation of the Pavilion to Ūgh and Bõögâr, two Icelandic trolls turned artists.
“Out of Controll” revolves around the questions that Egill Sæbjörnsson
consistently grapples with in his work: who has control? Who is guiding our actions, our knowledge, our thoughts, even our powers of imagination?
In phantasmagorical settings, he fills dormant objects with life by overlaying them with animations, projections of light and sounds, allowing their voices to be heard and their characters to be experienced. When an eraser starts flying, stones begin singing or handbags perform a choreographed piece, established relationships and hierarchies are challenged and inverted.
While Ūgh and Bõögâr may appear to belong to an archaic world of fantasy, the more time we spend with them in “Out of Controll” in Venice, the more concrete this seemingly other world becomes. For Sæbjörnsson the trolls are already part of his reality: having encountered Ūgh and Bõögâr in Iceland in 2008, wherever Sæbjörnsson goes, they follow. They have even followed in his artistic footsteps, sharing his studio space in Berlin, creating works and presenting exhibitions.
- Installation view of Out of Controll in Venice, 2017, Icelandic Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2017. Copyright and courtesy Egill Sæbjörnsson and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.