Iceland is a church. The church below in Mosfellsbær is, in the Icelandic context, not a place of worship. Not really. It is a bond with ancestors who declared their faith in directing interhuman relationships through a symbol of death and rebirth: death of individual selves fighting each other as representatives of raw physical power, and rebirth as people coming together to create and then draw from a concentrated form of subtler powers, both human and inhuman. At best, Icelanders used this energy to battle common foes; at worst, they used it to express raw power relationships between each other. For over 1,000 years, it has remained the state. Notice how few other buildings are involved, and how this church is not in the middle of a settlement but in the middle of nature. One comes to it.
Welcome to the wilderness of the mind.When confronted with the absence of words for the mirror that is the world, people often fill the space where they have never had a chance to build a self with their body.It is an expression of rapid, long-distance transportation of the body from its living environment to one only its ancestors had words for, if even them.
It turns the living earth, and her people, into a maze in a desert. Not all are at home in the world. These new sculptures, echoes of tourism, threaten the environment of the cairns the first settlers laid down, to find their way to each other.
They can be tracked, the dears. And think they move weightlessly through time and space. It is their art.
In the 9th century, long, long before Nicola Tesla, the vikings of Iceland changed the course of the Öxá, to create a waterfall in þingvellir. The sagas tell that it was named after a troll that used to chop up early parliamentarians with an axe — surely a witty reference to early spiritual struggles in Iceland, which was grounded simultaneously by at least three spiritual traditions: Norse, Irish and Christian. Wikipedia tells how the waterfall was used to provision campers with water.I will merely point out a couple things. First, the Icelandic killing fields were in this river, either by the drowning of witches, ie reunion with the troll, or by beheading on a rock in the water, ie the cancellation of Christian belonging, as a form of organic justice. This was hydro power before the industrial age. We now call it “nature” and “beauty.” Those are only industrial terms. Beware.