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Aluminati Installation, Kjarvalsstadir Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland

Saturday 15 Aug 2009

Natural discourse

Copyright 2009, BAM LLC 
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'Aluminati' Installation sheds light on environmental debate 

Constructed by BAM and designed in collaboration with Martha Schwartz as part of the Reykjavik Experiment Marathon, the Aluminati Installation was conceived as a charged political statement intended to expose and address the current crisis of the Icelandic landscape.

The 500 sq m black box set within the courtyard of Kjarvalsstadir Museum is penetrated by aluminum-encrusted portals that allow daylight to pour into the dark hallways. The use of aluminum as a primary material exposes Iceland’s struggle to define the sacred role that nature plays in its national identity. Geothermal heat sources throughout Iceland have been tapped by foreign companies to smelt aluminum, posing a threat to the pristine landscape. Burdens of a struggling economy, however, have created a dilemma for an Icelandic Government benefitting from foreign interests in aluminum.

The environmental controversy is felt in the dark but enchanting spaces of Aluminati. Through the mineral-like shapes of the windows, visitors meditate on a truly sublime landscape, one of beauty but also not without danger.

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