Grand opening of a pop-up museum in Háskólatorg

Museology students at the University of Iceland have arranged a Pop-Up Museum to celebrate the International Museum Day on Friday the 18th of May. The museum will pop up at Háskólatorg – University Square between 14.00 and 16.00. The theme is HOLIDAYS, because summer is around the corner.

We met with Edda Björnsdóttir, one of the museum´s director, for a quick chat.

When did you start in museum studies, and how did this event come about?

When I started to study museum studies, well this is my second semester, I felt this was an eye opener. The museums are full of stuff and there storage rooms are filling up with things that people don’t even know that exist. It is therefore many options for different kinds of exhibitions and in visual mediating, concerning these things with technological era that we live in.

I am an active member of the museum studies student council. We where browsing the ICOM webpage the other day, and found out that the International museum day was coming up May 18th this year. The theme is Museums in a Changing World, new challenges, new inspirations, which is very appropriate for the time being.

So, you decided to create this museum of “pop-up museum” because of this?

Yes, actually we did. We thought that this kind of museum would suit this theme very well, especially because of its form and medium. Well maybe I should explain in more detail what our museum is all about right?

Yes that would be excellent!

Well, its about giving people a platform to bring things and/or memories to us, to this temporary Pop-Up event, to talk about their memories that are connected to the things they bring or see at the event. A Pop- Up museum is a museum that emerges only for a short while and attends temporarily to its museum obligations. What sets Pop-Up museums apart from classic museums is that they relay entirely upon the guests participation, they form a platform for people to share memories and they do not have a material collection. At a Pop-Up museum people are invited to show and tell about an object relating to the museum’s theme. This way the Pop-Up museum creates a space where trivial objects gain value through the owner’s personal presentation, amongst other objects and presentations. After the Pop-Up museum, the owners take their objects back home, leaving the presentations and photographs of the objects as the only things that can become a collection. These will be made accessible at the museum’s website:smastundarsafnid.com

So, anything else you´d like to add?

Visual anthropology students take part in this event by launching a website that collects the course’s final project. Showing the videos is both the peak and closure of the studying process, and marks the beginning of the summer HOLIDAYS for the students. A final project such as this one gave the students a cherished HOLIDAY (or a brake) from traditional school-projects.


Here are a few photos from the grand opening

Interview/photographs: Ása Baldursdóttir