Press Releases : 2010/02

Norwegian artists within the 17th Biennale of Sydney

Published 2010/02/19

Left: Gardar Eide Einarsson, Black Suit (Sic Semper Tyrannis), 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery, New York Right: Mette Tronvoll, Rena 10 (detail), 2006. Courtesy of the artist



Media Preview: Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Public opening dates: 12 May – 1 August 2010

David Elliott, artistic director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney, has invited Gardar Eide Einarsson and Mette Tronvoll to exhibit within 'The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age', taking place in Sydney, Australia, from 12 May to 1 August.

Within 'The Beauty of Distance', Gardar Eide Einarsson will exhibit Black Flag With Hole, inspired by the Romanian revolutionary flag of 1989. In late December 1989 a week-long series of increasingly violent riots and fighting overthrew the Government of Nicolae Ceaucescu. As a means of demonstrating their opposition to the government, the revolutionaries subverted the official state flag by cutting out the coat of arms of the Romanian Socialist Republic, thus leaving a gaping hole in the middle. The flag became known as 'the flag with the hole' – a visual solution that cuts to the heart of the revolutionary action by taking the state out of the nation, effecting a practical, visual coup d'ètat. Eide Einarsson's Black Flag With Hole will consist of a group of five black flags, all with their middle cutout, hanging from the old, industrial cranes no longer in use on Cuckattoo Island. In addition to Black Flag With Hole, Eide Einarsson will exhibit the work Liberty or Death.

Mette Tronvoll will show a selection of works from her series Mongolia (2004) and Rena006 (2006). Mongolia is a series of portraits depicting the Mongolian nomads and their houses, the ger or jurte. The portraits are taken outdoors, in the dry, monochromatic Gobi desert (the nomads' environment) and indoors, in the colourful interior of the ger. In the series Tronvoll has also photographed the gers alone, acting as a kind of extended portrait of the Mongolian nomads. Rena006 is a series of portraits taken at the military camp Rena Leir in Østerdalen, Norway. Tronvoll was allowed to portray a group of elite soldiers from The Norwegian Army Special Operations Commando with high-level competence within special and anti-terror operations, an environment where photography is normally strictly prohibited. The soldiers are photographed in masks and uniforms individualised and customised to different combat situations. The uniforms almost become parts of their own bodies, revealing a tension between their politically loaded surface and the subjective content behind it.

On Sunday 16 May, at 14:00, Mette Tronvoll will give a talk in relation to her particpation within 'The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age' at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.


Gardar Eide Einarsson and Mette Tronvoll's participation in the 17th Biennale of Sydeny, 'The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age' has been supported by Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

About Biennale of Sydney

Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided an international platform for innovative and challenging contemporary art from Australia and around the world. The 17th edition of the biennale, organised by Artistic Director David Eliott, will explore the connections between the visual arts and other art forms. The aim of the Biennale is to bring together work from diverse cultures on the equal playing field of contemporary art, where no culture can assume superiority over any other.

Other artists to be included in 17th Biennale of Sydney are Kutlug Ataman, Louise Bourgeois, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Rodney Graham, Martin Jacobson, Yayoi Kusama, Peter Hennessey, Paul McCarthy and Bill Viola.

About the Artists

Gardar Eide Einarsson (born 1976 in Oslo, Norway, lives and works in New York, USA) makes works that use a particular stylistic approach to highly charged source material. He works in a range of media from painting to text works and from light boxes to installation. Gardar Eide Einarsson has had solo exhibitions at Sorry, We're Closed, Brussels, Belgium (2007), Nils Stærk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2006), Team Gallery, New York, USA (2005) and Marres Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2004). His work has been exhibited at venues such as P.S.1., New York, USA; Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (both 2006); CCA Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland; Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey (both 2005); Malmö Art Museum, Malmö, Sweden (2004); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania (2003); and Casino Luxembourg Forum d'Art Contemporain, Luxembourg (2001).

Mette Tronvoll (born 1965 in Trondheim, Norway, lives and works in Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian photographer and video artist known for her striking photographic works in the portraiture genre. The subjects of Tronvoll's mostly colour, large-scale photographs are captured directly, with an almost candid approach, and are often pictured in natural environments. They refer to a tradition of documentary or anthropological photography, and draw from influences such as the Düsseldorf School. Mette Tronvoll has exhibited in numerous venues internationally, including solo shows at Rogaland Kunstmuseum, Galerie Rupert Pfab, Düsseldorf (2006); Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden (2005); Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (2004); SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany (2002); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2001); and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2000). She was recently included in the group exhibition 'Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politics + Love', at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (2008).

Press Accreditation Information

Accreditation for the media preview of The 17th Biennale of Sydney, 'The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age' can be requested here.

For press enquiries related to this announcement, please contact Marthe Tveitan at