FÚSK Art Collective Looks for New Home

fúsk art collective reykjavík

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.

Reykjavík Art Shows Cancelled Over Noise Complaints

iceland music venues

An art and concert venue in Skerjafjörður has been forced by city authorities to cease holding events after persistent noise complaints from local residents, reports Vísir.

The venue, called Tóma Rýmið, or Empty Space, is managed by the art collective, Klúbburinn. The collective leased the space from the City of Reykjavík through the art initiative Skapandi Borg, which seeks to promote the arts in Reykjavík. According to the group, it was understood at the time of signing that the space would be used for concerts. As such, they claim it is unfair for the city to prevent them from using the space as it was intended.

In the last two years, the old bar as hosted numerous shows, raves, and theater productions, and members of Klúbburinn are fighting to keep the venue alive.

In a statement to Vísir, Diego Manatrizio, event manager for the collective, said: “I think this is a unique place in the art scene. We provide a space for many projects that could probably not find a place anywhere else, projects that are first presented here.”

However, not all agree, and the City of Reykjavík also claims that the art group never applied for the necessary permits to hold events.

Local residents are also unhappy with the venue, saying that the shows last too late into the night and are far too noisy.

The art collective, however, has expressed the desire to improve conditions to be able to continue using the space. Birnir Jón Sigurðsson, a member of the collective, stated that they took the complaints seriously and were ready to make changes. However, he said, “If we don’t get help from the city, we’ll have to close the business.”

Puff-Inn Welcomes Seabirds for Five-Star Stay

A new hotel is opening by the small town of Borgarfjörður eystri, East Iceland, but if you’re reading this article, its lodgings are probably not available in your size. The Lundahótel, or Puff-Inn, is a project hatched by illustrators Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir and Rán Flygenring, offering luxury accommodations to Iceland’s most beloved birds. Iceland Review spoke to the artists as they were putting the finishing touches on the facilities, located at the farmstead Höfn, just east of the town.

The two artists opened a puffin shop last year at the same location, an answer to Iceland‘s many tourist shops filled with puffin-themed tchotchkes. “We made all sorts of puffin-related merchandise that was not for sale and were thinking a lot about the relationship between puffins, people, and puffin stores,” Rán told Iceland Review over the phone. “Opening a hotel is a logical continuation of that.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ9i1K4gatN/

“The puffin is the symbol of tourism in Iceland but it’s in danger,” Elín says, explaining that human-caused global warming is pushing the bird’s food source north and the puffins are following. “A hotel would be a good way to provide them with refuge.” Early birds can dine on the hotel’s breakfast buffet, complete with sardines and herring (humans are also welcome), and guests will enjoy all the usual offerings of luxury lodgings: “Bathrobes and postcards.”

The Puff-Inn is located by the town harbour across the road from a puffin colony, and the artists admit their new facilities are more of a “staycation” for the birds. Their feathered neighbours are nevertheless are showing interest in the hotel on their doorstep, say the two illustrators, as are the local townsfolk. While there are currently no rooms available for human guests, Rán says they’re welcome to make a booking for a friend of the puffin persuasion.

Rather than the traditional rooms, the Puff-Inn offers burrows to its guests. “We plan to offer burrows of various sizes so birds of all kinds can come and stay,” Elín adds. “All birds are facing difficult circumstances due to human causes, so we hope they all stop by for a visit.”

Interested people and avians can follow the hotel on Instagram.