Icelandic photo-festival 2012 – a literal review

I was on a meeting, when they started to set up the photo-festival at Kex-hostel downtown Reykjavík. There they where, seven or eight people, fuzzing and buzzing about how to set up the projector just right. I thought those guys were hilarious. The first Reykjavík photo- festival was just around the corner.

On saturday night I popped in to see the show at Kex- hostel, there Jón Proppé started the show off by having a talk about the history of contemporary photography. I didn’t have the camera with me, I thought it would be too much, sitting in a room filled with photographers, taking pictures of them, talking about pictures. His lecture was inspiring and very informative, his view was from the top. The photographs projected at the show were amazing, the people watched many examples of contemporary Icelandic photography work with admiration in their eyes. The evening ended with an artistic best-off photography show from Voies Arles, France (the project manager of the photo-festival told me earlier that it was the sister festival to the Icelandic one). One thing that was great, was the dramatic and artistic music played under the shows, I think that it strengthened the atmosphere to a greater level of inspiring the visual experience.

Sunday came with its gray musky weather. I couldn’t resist of going to the Sundhöllin, swimming hall for dipping in, and watching the photography show on display, the theme being Icelandic swimming culture.


I laughed at the literality, yesterday I was afraid of photographing the photographers watching the best of photography, now I was in my swimsuit, taking photos of other people swimming with the swimming photographs on display! Wonderful! The only thing was, that this indoor swimming pool had too much light coming in from the windows, but the show was great. And what an idea! The culture of swimming and the swim suit fashion!

After drying up and leaving the pool, I just wanted to see one more thing. I went to Lækjartorg square, and saw the historic show, Kvosin for 100 years. I thought it was very clever to have the projector inside “the clock”, which is a famous landmark for us inlanders, a meeting point in the city. I loved how this history of this area was shown and it made me want to think about my craving of photographic displays in public spaces, outside.

Unfortunately, I didn´t see other venues, but I will be keeping an eye on the next photo-festival held! All and all I had a great time, and I wish all people involved in Icelandic photographic culture the best in having these kind of festives in the future.

Ása Baldursdóttir

photos: Ása Baldursdóttir