This is the second (and last) miniature I found in Reykjavík. Photo taken on the seventh of Sepptember of 2017. Unfortunately, in this case I did not take the precaution of noting or photographing the location!! (To be searched again in my next visit!!).
Yes, here is the famous photo that illustrates the home page of my website. I took it in Reykjavík (not sure where, I think it must have been in one of the streets in the North-East of Hallgrímskirkja, probably Bergþórugata, which several times I walked along) on the twenty-third of September of 2017 during my second visit to Iceland.
There were more examples of this kind of traffic-sign high-culture bombing, two of which I photographed (next two pictures). They seemed to have totally vanished In my subsequent visits (2016 and 2017). Perhaps the authorities were unwilling to tolerate this form of illustrated vandalism... I think they were really cool, quite sensitively placed, with no sign of aggressive message, a kind of high cusine delicatessen in city vandalic art.
AND TODAY I inaugurate the announced 'otros artistas' page!!!
(from the menu bar below, go to 'the calling'→'pilgrimage'→'otros artistas')
I introduce you today to another of my great little friends in Reykjavík, one that exudes a particularly charm magic. I love him so much! The heading photo was taken on the thirtieth of September of 2016. You really must be quite attentive, and I am sure the finding of this fantastic little friend was a reward to my habit of walking around streets in slow-pace, relaxed manner.
I cannot really express the joy I felt the day I found it again in 2017. Again, I had only a general idea of the area of the city where I remembered having found the little soldier the year before. So I walked and walked..., and this time the search seemed particularly diffcult. But, then, suddenly, I recognized the colour of the house in the distance, walked towards it almost holding my breath back... yes, it was theeeeeeeeeere!!! My newer iPhone allowed me to take this closer look on September 7, 2017:
And here (same day) is the location, next to the crossing of Njálsgata and Barónsstígur:
As a necessary and just companion of ‘The line’ and ‘Fachadas en verso’, in brief I will add a new page, ‘Otros artistas’, dedicated to the other forms of creative expression to be found in the streets of Reykjavík.
Of course, the reason-d’étre of cursive scripts is precisely to trace any word with a single uninterrupted line. In 2016, together with my preferred example of unilinear urban artist, which I treated in my post of January 8th, I already noted the presence of another example (shown in the heading picture of today’s post, taken on September 28, 2016), which, although not unilinear, I felt somehow akin to it.
Again, I found the same in my 2017 visit. It showed a few signs of the inevitable passage of time (photo: September 7, 2017):
But this one (same date, same location in the same courtyard behind the cemetery) is truly cursive and graciously executed (and I wonder if in fact the word may be just the same...):
My posts about the Nordik House (Faroes and Iceland) and the Culture House (Reykjavík) were intended to be followed by this one on the National Museum of the Faroes, but somehow I just forgot about it! Today I correct this slip.
The museum is in the north-eastern outskirts of Tórshavn, far from downtown, but a bus took me there on September 2, 2017 from the city center (for free! I do not know if all public buses are free or only some of them). I informed the driver of my destination, and he gently stopped there and instructed me about how to approach the building from the bus stop.
The building seems anything but a museum at all, as you see in this photo of the front facade:
And this is the view at the other side from the museum’s cafeteria:
I got a funny general impression: a museum is always interesting, and this one was indeed, displaying valuable information on things like the natural history of the islands, or the historically critical role of fishing for their economy, while it was also, nevertheless, a very simple, old-fashioned, low-technology museum:
But in the basement it hides an absolute first class cultural and historical treasure, wonderfully displayed in a room specially dedicated, which from the very begining was my aim in coming to this place: a large selection of the wooden church fittings that were once extracted from the medieval episcopal residence of Kirkjubøur during an extense renovation. They are considered to be the greatest Faroese national treasure. A gem that by itself is absolutely worth the excursion to this remote and somehow bizarre cultural venue:
Here is another of my preferred humble works of city art in Reykjavík, as I shot it on September 28, 2016. It stroke me by its 'unilinear' display and the playful but at the same time strong proportions and shapes of the letters (well, I suppose they are letters..., not so sure...).
And, during my following visit, I looked for it again and found it on September 7, 2017!! You can see there are subtle signs of decay, the paint has lost part of its lustre:
Unfortunately, in my walks I tend to be not very scientific at all with keeping some records of the specific locations, so everything I can say, as I did back in 2016, is that this little marvel is somewhere just behind he old cemetery of Reykjavík. At least, with respect to my 2017 visit, I can now provide a more general view of the surrounding background:
Taken on September 30, 2016, this is my most treasured shot ever (being made, as it is the case, of course NOT with my present glorious Leica camera, but with "only" an iPhone 6s Plus, my photo machine at that time), and I take it to be THE symbol of the quest for Reykjavík's city art and the like, which I initiated that year in a totally improvised manner.
Today, I start entering in the relevant pages (starting now with The line and later progressing through Fachadas en verso) the photos taken in my 2017 visit to the city. Which will probably take me quite a few months..., but I will document this process by regularly bringing selected cases here to the blog.
And I begin with this now iconic 2016 shot. In 2017, I looked for it again in my detours through the streets and managed to find it!! But one of the defining features of city art is its ephemeral nature. Compare the following two pictures, the first being another September 30, 2016 shot, the second taken on September 7, 2017:
My beloved little Reykjavík friend was now caught in street repair works and showing already signs of its lines (see the mouth) slightly fading away. Another detail: the blue letters on my friend's cap had disappeared, but at least the initial letter (somehow ressembling an F) has been replaced by another almost identical, but this time in white: is the artist still contributing to his/her work a year later...?
A last, general view, showing the precise location, in the crossing between Grettisgata and Vitastígur streets:
I love historical places! And, during my 2017 North Atlantic survey, even if my Faroese trip was more a common tourist one, still I could enjoy a couple of very interesting historical spots.
The first one were the remains of a Viking age farm, Toftanes, placed just by the road as you pass right besides the town of Leirvik, in the eastern coast of Eysturoy island. It was exciting to see a Viking era real human settlement for the first time in my life! For the coming years, I hope to see more, wether in Greenland or..., actually, I am seriously thinking of extending my surveys to L’Anse aux Meadows, in the northern end of Newfoundland, location of the only well ascertained Norse settlement remain in North America outside Greenland, and, I believe, by far the best preserved (actually, rebuilt) and the Viking era settlement more illustratively shown to the public...
The other place we visited was THE historical place of the Faroes as such: Kirkjubøur, in the southern shores of Streymoy island, with the remnants of the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral and the construction that is said to be the oldest European house continuously inhabitated until our times.
It is a lovely place indeed that we could fully enjoy in calm weather...
(All pictures taken in early September, 2017)
In 2013 I knew of the existence of the Culture House already, and was very keen to visit it, but we spent only a couple of hours in Reykjavík.
In 2015 I was happy to get back to the city, eager to taste it calmly for several days. The Culture House was number one in my agenda. But I found it closed! They were preparing for new exhibition!
It is a little house, just a house, but in 2016 I spent 4 hours and 40 minutes inside!
In 2017 I came back and spent almost another 4 hours...
Then, later on the day, I made a stupid mistake with my Leica and I DELETED all the Leica pictures of that day!
So I repeated visit next day, this time for 2 hours and a half.
I must be the person in the world that has visited this wonderful cultural venue for the longest!