Click on the picture for a sneak a peek of the multimedia exhibition “Surtsey – Genesis,” on display at the Culture House in Reykjavík until spring 2009. The exhibition tells the story of an island’s spectacular birth from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in 1963, traces its history to the present and predicts its future. Please note, the video may take awhile to download.
Courtesy of the Culture House.
“Surtsey – Genesis” takes the viewer on a ride through the creation and evolutionary history of the island Surtsey, formed in a volcanic eruption between 1963 and 1967. It is carried out at the Culture House by the Icelandic Institute of Natural History in conjunction with Surtsey’s nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a universally unique natural phenomenon.
By Sigurjón Einarsson, taken 1966.
“From the time the exhibition opened at the beginning of May up to the end of May, when the schools closed for the summer, 1,500 students came to visit,” director of the Culture House Gudrídur Sigurdardóttir told icelandreview.com. “And now, after the schools opened again, many teachers have booked tours for their students.”
Several thousand visitors came to see Surtsey-Genesis at the Culture House this summer, both Icelanders and foreign tourists. And during the Culture Night in Reykjavík alone, on August 18, 1,500 people came to see the exhibition.
According to Sigurdardóttir, the modern technology used at the exhibition has been well received by visitors. “As soon as people walk through the door they face a giant mirror where they can see a real volcanic eruption with a lot of noise,” she said.
“We use an interactive multimedia device with a time axis with dates, and by dragging a sledge up and down the axis, visitors call up pictures and text about the geological evolution of the island and the colonization of plants, birds and other animals on this new territory,” Sigurdardóttir explained, adding that the texts are in both English and Icelandic but as the exhibition is very visual, visitors who don’t understand those languages can still enjoy the show.
“Surtsey – Genesis” is open every day between 11 am and 5 pm at the Culture House at Hverfisgata 15, 101 Reykjavík. Admission for adults is ISK 300 (USD 4.72, EUR 3.46), but free on Wednesdays.
For more information, visit the Culture House’s website.