A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country
Mag
Opinion
THREE NOTEWORTHY REYKJAVÍK STATUES

THREE NOTEWORTHY REYKJAVÍK STATUES

Published August 23, 2011

I appreciate a good statue more than most people. This may be because of my background as a stonemason. I have more than a rudimentary understanding of what it takes to reveal the form that resides within a block of stone, or to transform a shapeless piece of metal into something recognisable. And while I do not claim any expertise on the aesthetics, I believe my statue fetish makes me fully qualified to give you a reasoned list of three noteworthy statues in Reykjavík.

20 LOGAR
by Hagatorg
Artist: Hulda Hákon
While this is strictly not a statue, but rather a sculpture, 20 Logar is an artwork worth pointing out. The name translates to 20 Flames, with each flame repre-senting a member state of NATO. The sculpture was commissioned to artist Hulda Hákon and revealed in 2002 to commemorate the meeting of the 20 foreign ministers of the NATO states. Since its unveiling, it has repeatedly been targeted to protest NATO’s military efforts around the world. It has been covered in red paint on more than one occasion, and currently consists of a mere 18 flames, as two have gone missing over the years, most likely at the hands of anti-NATO enthusiasts, or possibly Communists. While other countries have many memorials dedicated to various war efforts, Icelanders have shown little tolerance for this little reminder of our involvement in NATO.

ALBERT GUÐMUNDSSON
by Laugardalshöll
Artist: Helgi Gíslason
Dedicated to Iceland’s first and most successful professional football player, Albert Guðmundsson, who played with powerhouses such as Arsenal, Glasgow Rangers and AC Milan, to name but a few, during a particularly industrious career. Albert would later move on to politics, but that’s probably another statue waiting to happen. This is a noteworthy statue for the simple fact that it may be the most ugly statue in Reykjavík. Statues of athletes often strike a posing figure. Manchester United’s “Holy Trinity” of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, outside their stadium is a good example. Or the graceful rendition of Michael Jordan outside Chicago Stadium. Albert Guðmundsson, however, strikes an awkward pose, as if leaning into the bar counter in an effort to swoon a bypassing lady of notice. The overall effect is less than gracious, and does little to do justice to this former great player.

ÓÞEKKTI EMBÆTTISMAÐURINN
Lækjargata, port
Artist Magnús Tómasson
The Unknown Bureaucrat is a popular favourite, as it manages to be both humorous and provocative, while truthfully depicting something that most everyone can relate to, the trivial existence of the working bee. The block of rock is a perfect metaphor for how everyday life crushes down on us, while at the same time depicting the narrative of the faceless official who is only a cog in the wheel, and never a person to most of us. Even the location is a thoughtful comment on the trivial existence of the Unknown Bureaucrat, in a closed off back alley. You really have to make an effort to find him, sealed off from any relevance, and the rest of the world in his isolated little corner of the universe.



Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hello! I Must Be Going!

by

To forge a synthesis: Last week, as evident in what follows, citizens of the volcano-plagued republic seem to have mainly wondered which things should be allowed entrance into their country and which should rather be kept out: should meat-products from elsewhere be allowed? How about people from elsewhere? How about only the best people from elsewhere? If locally produced people are supposed to stay, then who is supposed to accommodate them? How can the country attract all the best people and still get rid of all the ‘good people’? Should books stay or go? Last but not least: is there

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Letter To UNESCO

by

Dear UNESCO, It was a great honour when Reykjavik became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2011 and we Icelanders are very proud to be counted as one amongst seven amazing cities carrying this title. Realising this is not a temporary title, but a title for keeps which carries a certain recognition and prestige, we have become apprehensive about it and would therefore like to bring a few points to your attention. In a new budget proposal, the present Icelandic government has proposed to raise the sales tax (VAT) on books from 7% up to 12%. The immediate and obvious

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Everything Counts

by

Statistics Iceland (SI) raised a few eyebrows when the institution announced that it would as of September include estimates of various illegal activities when calculating Iceland’s GDP and balance of payments. Drug trafficking, smuggling and prostitution are now included among the more “traditional” industries in the state’s official GPD calculations, a move that SI claims will increase Iceland’s GDP by 0.47%. Understandably, the institution’s announcement generated a loud “whaaat!?!?” across social media, as people attempted to make sense of this unexpected addition to the Icelandic economy. It just made no sense! Why would the statistics bureau be interested in boosting

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

So What’s This Faroese Ship I Keep Hearing About?

by

The Faroese trawler ‘Næraberg’ was fishing for mackerel in Greenlandic waters when its engine suffered a malfunction. As the Icelandic Coast Guard was best situated to help, it sent a plane out to the trawler with spare engine parts, which it dropped in a parachute. The Faroese crew retrieved them in a dinghy and went to work repairing the engine. Another lovely story of cooperation in the North Atlantic Ocean, where hard men with soft hearts help each other survive. After the attempted repairs, the engine could only produce a fraction of normal power. The ship set course for Iceland.

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Nuke The Middle-East, Give Up On Iceland

by

Today, Monday, Professor Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson, the Icelandic neoliberal experiment’s chief ideologue since the late 1970’s, recommends that the Icelandic right wing draw a lesson from the Swedish election results, as well as the rise of Britain’s UKIP, and uphold stronger xenophobic policies: “struggle against immigration and sever the ties to the EU”. Teacher, journalist and right-wing pundit Páll Vilhjálmsson wrote a blog post titled ‘Nuclear bombs are Christian‘ suggesting that the West nuke parts of the Middle-East to teach its inhabitants a lesson. “The rise in militant muslims in this part of the world will sooner rather than later

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

So What’s This Hazing I Keep Hearing About?

by

Like young people the world over, Icelandic youths like to humiliate younger kids for fun. This behaviour takes many forms, but the one that has been in the news lately is secondary school hazing. In Iceland, primary school ends at sixteen and almost everyone starts secondary school the following autumn, although a secondary education is not compulsory. Traditionally, new students are hazed by students in the fourth and final year, with each school having their own set of rituals. Yes, if humiliation and endangerment is a tradition, then it’s okay. These hazing rituals are generally harmless. New students are made

Show Me More!