German artist Julius von Bismarck once again denied that he was involved in the defacement of multiple natural sites in Iceland, RÚV reports. Von Bismarck has been suspected of tagging Grjótagjá lava cave, Hverfjall crater, and lava formations at Kálfaströnd with the words “CAVE” and “CRATER,” and “LAVA” respectively, as well as similarly defacing an area of Icelandic moss, which is extremely delicate and might easily be destroyed by such actions. Von Bismarck’s suspected role in the taggings earned him the wrath of Iceland’s Environmental Agency, which dubbed him a “nature terrorist.”
In an interview published yesterday with The New York Times, von Bismarck reiterated the claim that he has made since May: namely, that he has been working with other anonymous artists on his series “Kunst,” (‘Art’) which features the photographs of the spray-painted Icelandic sites, and that those individuals “acted completely on their own regarding each inscription.”
Previously, von Bismarck has referred to Iceland’s reaction to these inscriptions as the “Iceland-shit-storm,” a sentiment echoed in his further comments to The New York Times:
“‘He viewed the uproar as confirmation that society has lost touch with the soul of those natural places that it professes to revere. He cited natural landmarks across the globe where the construction of restaurants, hotels and other commercial facilities put tourists’ needs first, with little regard for the peace and beauty of nature.
‘I don’t want to attack nature, I want to attack the clichés on nature,’ he said.”
Von Bismarck also told the interviewer that the paint which was used to tag natural sites is not permanent and would dissolve.