The inflatable island represents one of Maldives’ 1.200 small coral islands. The caravan with the island on the roof is an image of Maldivians as the first nation of climate refugees. The island represents Maldives as the physical country, the land, which might disappear. The inflated island can suddenly deflate and disappear. This work articulates the fragility of the Maldives islands. Bringing a piece of the country along when travelling to find new land is a representation of bringing the culture, traditions, language and history of the country with you. The Maldivian island has travelled from Maldives to Venice, two places facing many of the same challenges of the changing climate. The caravan serves as the physical space of the exhibition and a meeting point of the activities of the exhibition program such as talks, video screenings, events and performances.
Soren Dahlgaard initiated the first Maldives National Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennale with the former Maldivian government. He is head curator of the Maldives Exodus Caravan Show. While long time resident in the Maldives, he showed at the National Art Gallery, Maldives. Based in Copenhagen, he has shown extensively in Denmark, such as Asbæk Gallery, Copenhagen, Art Building, Aarhus, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, The National Art Gallery, Copenhagen, and KØS Museum of art in Public Spaces, Køge. He has also exhibited internationally at the CCO – Espaço Cultural Contemporâneo, Brasilia, Brazil, KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Finland, Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, Tbilisi Triennial, Georgia, Digital Art Center, Israel, CCA Andratx Contemporary Art Center, Mallorca, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Vancouver Biennale, Canada, Center for Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Italy, Singapore Biennale 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, Trento, Italy, and MoMA P.S.1, New York.