DIY art collective, FÚSK, is on the look for a new home.
Gufunes, a former industrial area near the capital, has for some years been the location of film production company Reykjavík Studios, in addition to several other art projects and collectives. The City of Reykjavík has offered abandoned industrial facilities at the site to artists and creative workers who would like to develop them into studios and workspaces. However, despite the initial welcome art projects have received in this area, many are now being forced to relocate.
FÚSK leases a de-commissioned fertilizer factory from the City of Reykavík. In a public statement on social media, FÚSK members pointed out unfavourable leasing conditions from the City of Reykjavík, in addition to increasing restrictions. FÚSK has, for instance, been restricted from working with the film industry and from holding further events.
Elsa Jónsdóttir, a co-founder of FÚSK, stated: “We went into FÚSK not having anything, water, electricity, or plumbing. It made every 100 per cent harder, but we also learned a lot. I became so invested in some of the projects we had in Gufunes, I just hope the city fights to keep some of them alive.”
Elsa also praised the city for some of its support for artists during the COVID-19 pandemic but suggested a lack of planning. “We saw all this support for artists during COVID,” she said. “But once it was over, they just pulled out the rug from under us. I don’t think there was a very long-term plan. Even though the city has tried to support youth culture and the arts through initiatives, we don’t always see it in practice.”
The future of FÚSK is still very much up in the air, but organizers have stated their openness to many different possibilities, including a possible relocation to the countryside.
The Gufunes area is slated for an urban renewal project, with plans to construct a swimming pool, a preschool, steam baths, and an underwater restaurant.