German Artist to Illuminate Icelandic Glacier Skip to content

German Artist to Illuminate Icelandic Glacier

The German light artist Gert Hof is planning to illuminate Snaefellsjökull glacier in west Iceland in October this year to send a message to the entire human race. Hof is famous for his illuminations of well-known buildings around the world.

Snaefellsjökull. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“It will be a message to everyone on this earth that we have to deal with global warming,” Hof told Fréttabladid.

Hof has been enchanted by the North Pole for a long time and so he thought a visit to Iceland would be interesting.

The artist examined the conditions at Snaefellsjökull on Tuesday and said he was awestruck by the Icelandic landscape. “It is really mystical and at the same time challenging for me as an artist.”

Hof was born in East Germany in 1951. He worked as a theater and opera director before becoming a rocker in the 1990s and later expanded into performance art.

He has worked on videos with rock bands such as Rammstein and Motorhead and illuminated a number of well-known buildings and historical places around the world, including Acropolis in Greece.

Hof said it will take significant effort to illuminate Snaefellsjökull. “We need the right people and we have the right people here. We also need the right political environment.”

“The people want this. It is an incredibly beautiful place. The project also requires the right message, which is this huge environmental problem shared by the entire human race,” the artist added.

Hof finds that Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth gives the project a special dimension. “Jules Verne was on a journey to the center of the earth. I, as an artist, along with you, the inhabitants of Iceland, will try to send a message to the sky.”

The writer-lawyer couple Bergljót Arnalds and Páll Ásgeir Davídsson had the idea of bringing Hof to Iceland. Later the Icelandic company Northern Lights Energy joined their effort.

Arnalds will lead the musical creation around the project, which will be based on the natural sounds of Snaefellsjökull.

Davídsson said the project is based on the idea of communal responsibility. Iceland’s image must be restored after the volcanic eruption and banking collapse.

“It will be excellent for Icelanders, after having had an eruption in one glacier, to have another turned into a work of art,” Davídsson commented.

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