shoplifter creates hypernatural environment of colored neon hair for the icelandic pavilion

shoplifter creates hypernatural environment of colored neon hair for the icelandic pavilion

for the pavilion of iceland at the venice art biennale 2019, artist hrafnhildur arnardóttir / shoplifter has transformed a warehouse in the island of giudecca into a multi-sensory, cavernous environment, made of her signature material: synthetic hair. titled ​chromo sapiens, the exhibition combines color, sound, and textures that immerse visitors in an audiovisual experience.

shoplifter creates hypernatural environment of colored neon hair for the icelandic pavilionall images © elisabet davidsdottir unless stated otherwise



in ​chromo sapiens​, the icelandic artist has created a series of distinct chambers, starting from primal opus, ​a dark passage of emanating volcanic earthy hues, activated by the sub terra sound of the icelandic cult metal band HAM. a shockingly bright undulation of colored neon hair tufts erupts in ​astral gloria, the second chamber which, with its soaring cathedral ceiling and sheer emersion of chromatic opulence, generates a kind of euphoric kinetic ​synesthesia. the exhibition concludes with opium natura, ​the final cave, which incorporates a soft landing of shimmering whites and pale soothing pastels, invites visitors into a serene, blissful environment before they step out to the busy venetian streets.


 ‘shoplifter has developed unique ways of working with textiles in space to critical acclaim and tremendous public appreciation,’ birta guðjónsdóttir, curator of the icelandic pavilion notes. ‘it is indeed exciting to see our continuing collaboration take us to venice where she mounts her largest installation to date, a site-specific emotive and contemplative experience. ​one enters the pavilion as homo sapiens and exits as chromo sapiens.’

image © ugo carmeni

shoplifter creates hypernatural environment of colored neon hair for the icelandic pavilionimage © ugo carmeni

image © ugo carmeni

shoplifter pavilion of icelandimage © ugo carmeni icelandic pavilion   






project info:

name: chromo sapiens, pavilion of iceland

artist: hrafnhildur arnardóttir / shoplifter

curator: birta guðjónsdóttir

location: spazio punch, giudecca, venice

exhibition dates: may 11 – november 24 2019

opening hours: 12 – 8pm tuesday – sunday

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