Tag Archives: architecture

The Purpose of Trees in Iceland

In Iceland, trees wash up on the beach after swimming over from Siberia, which is fun.

Borgarnes

Their purpose is much like that of moose antlers in Canada or Alaska: nail them to the front door to honour wilderness… or a viking ship mast. Or a viking curse.

This is why Icelanders are such fine film makers. They are good at staging dramas in real time.

Everyone Can be a Faded Polaroid at the Harpa and Dance with Yoko Ono Now

There is beautiful light in Iceland…

.

… and I mean really beautiful light …

… but tourism survives on images, so the great opera hall, the Harpa, allows anyone to view others as if they are in a faded Polaroid shot from the 1970s …

… or an Agfa shot from the 1960s.

This retro thing, this notion of quoting the landscape in the very moment one observes it, is something the Icelanders learned in graduate school in New York, London and Berlin. It’s charming, but remember …

… every wave that goes to sea in Skagafjörður leaves behind a space for beautiful light. It’s like the sun is right there, you know.

Hólar in the Spring

It is.

In Iceland, Everything is Hay

When your sheep are starving, you will feed them old twine, your family Bible, the shirt off your back, anything, because without sheep there is nothing. Of course, most Icelanders are no longer intimate with sheep. For them,  they hay thing has been updated, all modern and tip top. In Reykjavik, anything, anything, even an old couch or an old barbecue made out of paving bricks, is a window.

Hverfisgata

But, of course, that’s the beauty of it.