Tag Archives: advertising

Crazy Reykjavik Window Display

So, the climber who never gets anywhere, that works. Kind of a dream climber. Nothing like a tree to give you a leg up! Note the guy up front. In that sweater, not a climber.

That’s the fun part. Here’s the next window in the store on Laugavegur. Same stricken climber dude, hanging on now without his tree, and a woman up front in a tank top AND a climbing jacket, so, like ready for a night on the town, but look at the background:

PURE Mountain, the Dolomites. When did Reykjavik move to Italy? It must have been an expensive purchase. Is this why the Italian economy has been in a shambles?

Tourist Herding in Iceland, a Class Act

There is an uncanny resemblance between these images. Note the object of the photo watching from within it.

Note how she looks off to the side, leaving the balancing point as white ice.

Note the reaching out and goofy eagerness, set against nature as if it were a part of it.


Note the cool self-assurance by which the non-human actors make the real statement in the scene.

Note the fragile sense of vulnerability of modernity and the troubled gaze out of class, strengthened by class achievement yet never certain.

Note the deliberate dissemination of confusion. You are being led around by people who have been herdsmen and fishermen for 1100 years, after all. As Margret told me last summer, you never know who is the elf and who is the human. You never know,.

Note how Icelanders dress as the visitors do to make everybody comfortable with these arrangements.


Funky, eh. Yeah, well, be strong.

Or blend in.

White Iceland

The Iceland the Icelanders send you to on the bus is magical. 

Seljalandsfoss

So is the one they live in, across the road.

One has water blowing in the wind. One has volcanic ash blowing in the wind. These are the big choices. Hmm. OK, also the Atlantic Ocean blowing in the wind.

Snaefelsnes

And, right, fog and rain blowing in the wind.

Seydisfjörður

Do they tell you about that? No, they do not. They tell you about the Blue Lagoon:

Not your style? Well, there’s this story, too.

Did you notice the consistent use of white? It’s a message. Let me show you again. One …

…two…

…three.

Icelanders know about whiteness.

How blue it is.

How watery.

And how it covers everything with illusion. OK, well, a backdrop for illusions.

And that in Iceland ghosts are everywhere.

And they are white.

Well, white and red. And white.

Right, and snow blows in the wind, too.

So, off you go!

Having Fun keeping Warm with the Fairies in the Icelandic (Oh Not Really) Cold

Six years back, these ads for warm weather clothing were all the rage.

A melancholy bunch, but they appealed to visitors of European heritage.

Who just want to go where it is cold and to be warm there, or at least are willing to let their bodies remember all that.

Of course, the ads were made in New York.

But their appeal was solid.

Today, the ads are still about superhuman melancholy, about prowess in conditions that would slay most others, but with adventure. No longer is being bodily present in Iceland enough. You have to be an airplane.

And of course, at the same time still be a vulnerable waif, even with a bit of fear and disdain.

Ah, Iceland, still playing with fairy lore after all these years.

Imagine if the Icelanders just got up one day and redefined the human myth instead! I’m waiting for that day.

Perhaps new glasses first?