I will keep close to you opening at Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir-I will keep close to you-Kunstlerhaus

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir‘s exhibition I will keep close to you celebrating her one year residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien opens on the 8th of April in one of KB’s galleries in Berlin. She has stayed for a whole year in Berlin working on her various projects supported by the Icelandic Art Center. As Künstlerhaus Bethanien studio committee has provided her with access to a powerful, international network of curators, collectors, journalists and others working in the sector. Looking back on her residency and time in Berlin the artist, Anna Júlía, talks about what the opportunity means to her. She talks about how valuable getting the chance to live and work in Berlin has been to her, furthermore, having the time to dedicate herself entirely to art.

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir-I will keep close to you-Kunstlerhaus

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir at her studio at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.

“The studio at Künstlerhaus Bethanien is a dream studio – spacious, bright and nicely located in the lively Kreuzberg area. An essential part of the residency is studio visits by curators and academics; those conversations are invaluable input. What stands out for me has been working on my two Berlin solo exhibitions. I have made a lot of new work in different mediums and methods, which has been an enjoyable process. Now I am finalising my show at the KB where I´m doing an experimental installation which partly entails working with the architecture. Getting a lot of help from the institution, its staff and outside collaborators have made the work very productive and rewarding. “

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir in the studio preparing for her solo show at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.

The exhibition I will keep close to you opens on the 8th of April and will be on display until the 30th of April. So, make sure you pay her a visit if you are in Berlin or are planning on going there in April. In preparation of her solo exhibition she has been working mainly with copper and the exhibition is made up of 4 communication signals, a morse code read from copper plates. M. Manoukian writes the exhibition text which reveals hidden meanings in the preffered choice of source material in the exhibition itself. Anna Júlí a herself describes one of the key pieces from the exhibition.

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir-I will keep close to you-Kunstlerhaus

Anna Júlía, A close up from a detail of the work XL (Visibility is decreading), etched copper plate, 2023.

The copperplate is a part of a larger work “XL (Visibility is decreading)” which is a radio call sign which consists of morse coding of the copper plates. The Newspaper is also a part of the exhibition. The exhibition title is “I will keep close to you” and is made up of 4 communication signals but the main material is copper.

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir, LAST SEASON, Gallery Gudmundsdottir

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir, LAST SEASON, installation view from Gallery Gudmundsdottir, Berlin, 2022.

Anna Júlía Fridbjörnsdóttir is an artist based in Reykjavík. She combines various mediums to explore the intersection between science and culture informed by historical and current politics. She finished her MA Fine Arts degree from Manchester School of Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University (2004) and BA Fine Art degree from Guildhall University, London (1998). She also studied at The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in 1993-95. Anna Júlía was a co-founder and editor of Sjónauki Art Magazine, published in 2007-2009. Her works have been exhibited in numerous international group exhibitions and at solo shows in Iceland, including the exhibition Serenade at Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art in 2017, for which she was nominated for the 2018 Icelandic Art Price. She got a lot of recognition for her contribution to the exhibition Iðavöllur at the Reykjavik Art Museum.

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir

Portrait of the artist, Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir by her installation Phosphoros, 2021.

Previous Icelandic Art Center residents at Künstlerhaus Bethanien are Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson 2020-21 and current resident Elín Hansdóttir.

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