Excursion: Reykjanes Peninsula

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hafnarfjörður – performance/installation/sermon/; followed by an excursion to the town of Grindavík. Along the way a peep into the open earth. Food for body and thought

An excursion out of the city, first to the neighbouring town of Hafnarfjörður into a closed space, a chapel in a hospital that has been out of use for some years. A happening organised by the artists and scholars Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Unnar Örn Auðarson, Karlotta Blöndal, Birna Bjarnadóttir and Haraldur Jónsson will take place accompanied by a sermon by Gauti Kristmannsson on the futility of work in a performative installation by the artists of The Expedition to the Magic Mountain. The installation echoes a dialogue with the threads of insomnia casualties during the bright nights of Ísafjörður, in the Westfjords, in June 2014. This operation is a gradual exploration of body and soul in a moribund space.

After the performance, under the guidance of the artist Haraldur Jónsson, the trip will take the participants to Grindavík, a town on the corner of the Reykjanes peninsula, en route they will explore the underbelly of mother earth, and visit the Guðbergur Bergsson Centre and crown the expedition with a meal together.

The performance in the chapel of St. Joseph ́s Hospital was made possible by the support of the town of Hafnarfjörður and Fasteignir Ríkisins.

The Grave of Icelandic Studies – A Workshop Expedition under an Open Sky

The workshop is not static but dynamic and consists of an expedition under the open sky. Conference participants are invited to walk from the Nordic house and Nýi Garður in a procession to the foundation of a building which will be dedicated to Icelandic studies in an unknown future. In this “graben, hole, grave” a participatory performance will take place under the auspices of a group of artists and academics named The Expedition to the Magic Mountain,* which will invite all to experience Icelandic culture from a new perspective, viewing both the land and the stars.

* The group consists of the artists Haraldur Jónsson, Unnar Örn Jónasson Auðarson, Karlotta Blöndal and Steingrímur Eyfjörð, film director Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir, Gauti Kristmannsson professor of translation studies at UoI and Birna Bjarnadóttir, head of the Icelandic department of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Gauti Kristmannsson

Mutations in Art. The New Memes Created by the Poems of Ossian

This paper looks at a cultural phenomenon of the eighteenth century which indeed ushered in a paradigm shift in Western culture. The Poems of Ossian were not only all the rage of the latter part of the eighteenth century, but a revolutionary bulk of poems which changed the outlook of many poets and scholars, as to how poetry should be and where it originated. The list of names is long, but people such as Wordsworth, Goethe, Herder would never have written the way they did, were it not for the Poems of Ossian. Not only that, but the influence on other arts was massive, and it is the objective here to look, however briefly, at these transformations of a translation, oft condemned as forgery, pseudotranslation, which on the other hand had the finest minds and artists of the best part of a century in its grip.