Larissa Sansour chosen for the Danish Pavilion

The Danish Arts Foundation has selected Danish-Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour to represent Denmark at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Larissa Sansour, In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain, 2016 (still), exhibited at her solo show at Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen 2016.

Today, the Danish Arts Foundation announced that Danish-Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour will take over the Danish Pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale next summer.

Larissa Sansour was born in 1973 in East Jerusalem. A graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art and New York University, USA, Sansour has also been an exchange student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Now living in London, Sansour is a Danish citizen. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to art, working with film, photography, installation art and sculpture in works that often take their point of departure in a science fiction universe.  

In recent years, Sansour has had several major solo shows internationally – most recently at Dar El-Nimr in Beirut. Her exhibition In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain has been shown in Liverpool, Rome, Cardiff, Copenhagen (at Nikolaj Kunsthal), Nottingham, Dubai, Madrid and London, while her Nation Estate exhibition has been presented in Rome, Jerusalem, Copenhagen, Wolverhampton, Turku and Paris. 

Larissa Sansour, 2018.

By appointing Larissa Sansour, the Danish Arts Foundation continue their streak of hosting solo shows in the Danish pavilion; they also did so for the last three biennials. At the same time they continue a tendency to present artists who enjoy a certain level of international attention. Funnily enough, all of these artists belong to the same generation. Sansour (b. 1973) succeeds Kirstine Roepstorff (b. 1972), who exhibited at the pavilion in 2017. In 2015 the artist appointed was Danh Vo (b. 1975), with his predecessor in 2013 being Jesper Just (b. 1974).

Commenting on the appointment of Sansour, the Danish Arts Foundation’s committee chair, Lisette Vind Ebbesen, says: “We chose Larissa Sansour because her art addresses issues that are not just relevant in Denmark, but in the rest of the world too. She delves into current political issues as well as more universal aspects of the human condition associated with identity and belonging. Good art serves to initiate conversations and discussion, and we believe that Larissa Sansour achieves precisely that in her intriguing, relatable art”.

Kunstkritikk has written about Sansour several times, most recently in connection with her exhibition at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, 2016. Writing about Sansour’s film piece In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain, Maria Bordorff said: “Just watch the film. It navigates a difficult political reality with apt precision; a reality where – as Google learned the hard way – you cannot put a foot wrong. It even manages to emphatically insist on being a work of art, never succumbing to the slightly sad anti-aesthetic that is so prevalent among works with highly political content.”

Dutch curator Nat Muller has been appointed curator of the exhibition in the Danish pavilion. 

Sansour was appointed by the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Visual Arts Project Funding. The committee consists of: director of the Art Museums of Skagen Lisette Vind Ebbesen (chair); artist Peter Land (deputy chair); gallery owner Charlotte Fogh; artist Jane Jin Kaisen and artist Søren Assenholt. 

The Venice Biennale begins 11 May and runs until 24 November 2019.

Larissa Sansour, Nation Estate, 2012 (still).