Thursday Thoughts – Vatasafn/Library of Water

Vatasafn, Stykkishólmur, Snaefellsnes peninsula. This Library of Water, by Roni Horn, opened in 2007 – a constellation of 24 glass columns containing water from some of the major glaciers around Iceland.

In fact, the first attempts to methodically record meteorological conditions in Iceland started exactly here in the mid – 19th century.

The glass columns refract and reflect the light onto a rubber floor with words in Icelandic and English which relate to the weather. ”You are the weather”, Horn says .

The New York born artist has visited Iceland many times since the mid – 70s, and knows that weather is the prime force in Iceland. Weather often changes mood and personality – good or tough for the residents – but also an important thing to be well prepared for when you visit.

This installation is housed in a pavilion on top of a hill, with spellbinding views of the harbour as well as the surrounding landscape and seascape. I found the Library offers a serene and silent space for private reflection. I easily stayed for more than an hour, alone, but would have loved to come here often.

Weather is a metaphor for the atmosphere of the world; weather is a metaphor for the atmosphere of ones life; weather is a metaphor for the physical, metaphysical, political, social, and moral energy of a person and a place.

– Roni Horn




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