The Kling & Bang gallery was founded by a rag tag group of artists at the beginning of 2003. Coming from a variety of different backgrounds, the group’s common goal was to challenge the context and content of creative thinking. And throughout the six years of Kling & Bang’s existence this enthusiasm has been responsible for countless projects, exhibitions and collaborations. Of course there will be variability in terms of quality, there always is, and while too much focus may rest on the “how” and only later on the “what” this “modus operandi” has stood Kling & Bang in good stead and brought them international attention. Since 2003 they have been presenting work by carefully-chosen, emerging and established artists, both Icelandic and international. Over their first six years, they have participated in a show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, at the Berliner Liste in Berlin and at Frieze Project-Frieze Art Fair in London and collaborated with such distinguished international figures as Christoph Schlingensief, Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, John Bock, David Askevold, Gelitin, as well as working with a number of influential Icelandic artists.
For two years 2004 and 2005, they ran the 5,000-square-meter KlinK & BanK studio space, where some 137 artists, designers, filmmakers and musicians worked on a day-to-day basis, producing exhibitions, lectures, theatre performances and a wide variety of other projects, presenting on average three events per week.
As the artist-run element of the organization is vital to the group’s identity, all eight of Kling & Bang’s permanent members are artists themselves—indeed, the gallery seeks to participate in the creation of artworks with the artists they invite and exhibit. Kling and Bang puts up close to a dozen exhibitions every year and they are down-and-dirty, they’re hands-on and above all “can-do”.