press release

The exhibition at the Akureyri Art Museum in Iceland forms the starting point of the HOMESICK Project, a series of exhibitions in co-operation with CIA.IS — Center for Icelandic Art together with the Akureyri Art Museum (Iceland), Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center Istanbul (Turkey) and the Center for Contemporary Art (Israel).

Homesickness is a term used in a number of languages to express illness, pain or a longing for one's distant home. Homesickness is a concrete feeling or a romantic term. It is childish, antiquated and yet current and relevant since it touches on the question of one's own (individual or collective, ethnic or cultural) identity. The question of what 'home' can signify in times of globalised societies, which leads on to the question of what is signified by 'homesickness', can be put both concretely and metaphorically. The question can be grasped as an approach both towards the subjective phenomenon of people yearning for a sense of belonging and towards a cultural or ethnic group's collective pursuit of identity.

It was also its assonant double entendre that caused HOMESICK to be chosen as the laconic title of the exhibition project in which the desire to leave home is likewise expressed: to be sick of home. The globalised world economy demands modern nomadism from the individual; the home becomes a claustrophobic nightmare, escape represents freedom.

The theme of the HOMESICK project will vary at its four exhibition stations in 2006/2007. With Turkey, Israel, Switzerland and Iceland involved, the project concentrates on four countries located on the outer fringe of the European Union. The project is set against a background of quite diverse historical and current processes. It begins in Iceland before undergoing further development for the subsequent stations in Istanbul (Platform Garanti, December 2006), Tel Aviv (Center for Contemporary Art, spring 2007) and Switzerland (summer 2007).

The artists invited to participate in HOMESICK – Act I approach the subject both in a subjective-emotional manner as well as intellectually or theoretically. The works of the three Icelandic positions correspond to those of the three guest artists. Directly or indirectly they ask the viewers to question his or her own moods.

Guy Ben-Ner (Israel, b. 1969) represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 2005 and currently lives in New York. His own four walls often provide the setting and he or his own family are the protagonists of his metaphoric video works.

Nevin Aladag (Turkey, b. 1972) lives in Berlin. Her works reflect the search of young Turks living in Germany for an identity of their own — a search that is strongly expressed in music and dance.

Chantal Michel (Switzerland, b. 1968) enters alien private spheres for her performances, videos and staged photography. The nature of her physical presence is a threat to the intimacy of the home.

Haraldur Jónsson (Iceland, b. 1961) targets subjective perception. His works, which he calls psychosomatic sculptures, focus directly on the viewer, confronting him/her physically and intellectually with the materialisation of emotional sensations.

Home as a site and a concept is one of the central themes present in the works by Katrin Sigurdardóttir (Iceland, b. 1967). The artist's signature use of miniature models explores the ways in which the experience of one place is entangled in the memory of other places.

Ólafur Arni Ólafsson (Iceland, b. 1973) & Libia Pérez de Siles Castro (Spain, b. 1971) have been working as a team since 1996, occupying public spaces with their installations. Their socially critical approach touches on socio-political themes and seeks to involve the visitor through active participation.


Catalogue: A catalogue with contributions of Hjálmar Sveinsson and Christian Schoen will be published for the exhibitions

HOMESICK II December 2006 Turkey, Platform Garanti HOMESICK III Spring 2007 Israel, Center for Contemporary Art

With friendly support by: Baugur Group Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung


only in german

Koordinator und Kurator Act I: Christian Schoen, CIA.IS Center for Icelandic Art

mit Guy Ben-Ner, Nevin Aladag, Chantal Michel, Haraldur Jonsson, Katrin Sigurdardottir, Castro / Olafsson

Dezember 2006 HOMESICK II Platform Garanti, Istanbul
Frühjahr 2007 HOMESICK III Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv