written by:
May 23, 2013
Iceland, the land of the midnight sun and geological hot spots, will have its own floating stage at the Venice Biennale's 55th International Art Exhibition which officially opens on Saturday, June 1st. Artist Katrín Sigurdardóttir has created Foundation (2013), a site-specific sculptural installation for the Lavenderia/The Old Laundry at the Palazzo Zenobio in Dorsoduro—one of the six sestieri of Venice.
Foundation by Katrin Sigurdardottir at Venice Biennale
Iceland, the land of the midnight sun and geological hot spots, will have its own floating stage at the Venice Biennale's 55th International Art Exhibition which officially opens on Saturday, June 1st. Artist Katrin Sigurdardottir has created Foundation (2013), a site-specific sculptural installation for the Lavenderia/The Old Laundry at the Palazzo Zenobio in Dorsoduro—one of the six sestieri of Venice. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
1 / 8
Foundation by Katrin Sigurdardottir at Venice Biennale
By superimposing an elevated, highly decorative surface onto the Lavanderia, Sigurdardóttir married the Palazzo Zenobio's two buildings, the pavilion and the laundry, as one. The pavilion, symbolizing the opulence and leisure of the owner, is contrasted by the laundry’s historic associations with labor. The surface pattern of the platform replicates artisanal tile construction and is all hand-worked. Sigurdardóttir chose to use art materials instead of traditional flooring materials to emphasize an understanding of the tiled surface as sculpture and a map of sorts that might be walked upon and experienced from shifting angles. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
2 / 8
Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
The outline of the architectural structure takes its form from the footprint of a typical 18th century pavilion. It intersects both interior and exterior spaces of this auxiliary building in the garden of the Palazzo, with two sets of stairs for access by visitors. Upon entering the work, visitors will first climb the stairs leading from the garden to the platform, and then bend down to pass through the truncated doors of the building. The work extends beyond the confines of the Lavanderia’s walls on three sides and allows the public to navigate diverse interior and exterior spaces. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
3 / 8

Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
Visitors can also climb stairs to the roof of the building and look down on the sculpture’s large footprint and intricate patterns. The size of this architectural piece dwarfs the building, and thus takes on a familiar theme in Sigurdardóttir’s oeuvre, the playful manipulation of scale. Notably, Iceland lacks its own pavilion in the Giardini, and therefore the floating, disembodied structure of Sigurdardóttir’s sculpture takes on a special significance. The outline of the form becomes a metaphor for the outline of the national space. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
4 / 8
Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
Katrín Sigurdardóttir explains, “This work is about drawing. It’s about labor, and it’s about spatial immersion. I wanted to create a work that could be entered from different points, navigated in multiple ways, and viewed from several levels, so that the visitor is both in the work and at the same time able to observe herself in the work. This work is both new and familiar, familiar in that it will key into a twofold perception—to experience and concurrently observe oneself experiencing—a kind of existential trickery that I have played with in previous works. It is new in that it’s my first full-scale architectural interpretation." Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
5 / 8
Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
"We chose materials, which are all appropriate in indoor and outdoor conditions. The work will go from the summer heat of Venice, to the winter cold of Reykjavík before it will shown entirely indoors at the SculptureCenter. The materials in the work are sourced equally from tile and flooring suppliers—i.e. the substrate, the adhesive, the grout, and from sculpture compound suppliers, such as the various materials that compose the tiles themselves" —Katrín Sigurdardóttir

Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.

6 / 8
Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
7 / 8
Foundation by Katrín Sigurdardóttir at the Venice Biennale
Katrín Sigurdardóttir’s project for the Icelandic Pavillion at the Venice Biennale will be on view from 1 June to 24 November, 2013. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.
8 / 8
Foundation by Katrin Sigurdardottir at Venice Biennale
Iceland, the land of the midnight sun and geological hot spots, will have its own floating stage at the Venice Biennale's 55th International Art Exhibition which officially opens on Saturday, June 1st. Artist Katrin Sigurdardottir has created Foundation (2013), a site-specific sculptural installation for the Lavenderia/The Old Laundry at the Palazzo Zenobio in Dorsoduro—one of the six sestieri of Venice. Photo by: ORCH_ orsenigochemollo and courtesy of the artist and the Icelandic Art center.

Created as the feature project for the Icelandic Pavilion, this 90 square meter tiled intervention features an ornate, baroque-inspired platform that references the spatial poetry and memory-laden surfaces of the Palazzo's gardens and passageways. Sigurdardottir is best known for her highly detailed renditions of place, both real and fictional, as well as her playful scale shifts that examine perspective and navigation. The invited artist worked with her team to incorporate artisan tile construction and hand crafting methods into the historic spaces. The project is born from Sigurdardottir's career-long exploration of concepts linked to architecture, urbanism, cartography, and landscape. In this instance the artist wanted to incorporate tile work, specifically, in order to explore how the surfaces might change over time due to the varying conditions of the project's future locations.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016
Two studios flanks a central volume at this home in Mexico
Art and life meet in the middle at a family retreat in Central Mexico.
April 24, 2016
natural instinct swedish family home kitchen table unfold pendants muuto lilla aland chairs stolab
With Alvar Aalto in mind, a renowned Swedish architect crafts a serene home on a long-held family plot.
April 24, 2016