The controversial phallic art piece, Litla Hafpulsan (literally “the little sea-hotdog”, referring to the famous Little Mermaid in Copenhagen) has been destroyed. The artwork, which was by Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir, was a part of the Cycle Art Festival and had been in Reykjavík’s Tjörnin pond since the end of October.
The artwork was criticised by some for being not being “fine art”. That of course was not the objective of the artist, who explained that hot dog was a metaphor for democracy in Iceland; a concept that the artist has been working with for years. The sculpture was also a contribution to the celebrations this year of Iceland’s 100 years of national sovereignty.
A passer-by saw the broken artwork early this morning and sent Reykjavík Grapevine a picture of a broken piece of it, which was in a bush nearby the pond. It is unclear if this was just an act of vandalism or if it was politically motivated. It had become accessible to passers-by as Tjörnin froze over for the winter.
Steinunn is well-known for her connections to an anarchist group in Iceland that has repeatedly been in clashes with the police, and was one of the most visible groups that protested the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project early in the 00’s.