VATNASAFN / LIBRARY OF WATER
VATNASAFN / LIBRARY OF WATER is a long-term project conceived by Roni Horn for a former library in the coastal town of Stykkishólmur in Iceland. The building stands on a promontory overlooking the ocean and the town, and houses three related collections - of water, words and weather reports - which reflect Roni Horn’s intimate involvement with the singular geography, geology, climate and culture of Iceland...
Water, Selected is a constellation of 24 glass columns containing water collected from ice from some of the major glaciers around Iceland. The glass columns refract and reflect the light onto a rubber floor embedded with a field of words in Icelandic and English which relate to the weather – inside or outside. The sculpture installation offers a space for private reflection whilst accommodating a wide variety of community uses.
In a small side room, visitors can look at Roni Horn’s ongoing series of books made in Iceland, To Place and listen to a selection of people talking about the weather. Through 2005 and 2006, at the instigation of Horn, writer Oddny Eir Ævarsdóttir, her brother archaeologist Uggi Ævarsson and their father, radio broadcaster Ævar Kjartansson interviewed around a hundred individuals from Stykkishólmur and the surrounding area about the weather. Weather Reports You presents these spoken testimonies as a collective self-portrait of a country where the weather is strongly present in everyday life.
The lower floor of VATNASAFN / LIBRARY OF WATER is a private writers’ studio where each year writers are invited to spend a number of months living and working. The residencies alternate between Iceland-based and overseas writers, and have so far included Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, Rebecca Solnit, Anne Carson, Oskar Arni Oskarsson and Oddny Eir Ævarsdóttir.
Commissioned and produced in 2007 by Artangel with The Town of Stykkishólmur, The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, The Ministry of Communications and the Icelandic Parliament