Earth Homing:

Reinventing Turf Houses

0 1


Turf houses reveal our primordial connection to the earth. Passage farmhouses were unique to Iceland.

Dating back to the 9th century turf houses were home to all classes. Taking turf houses as a starting

point of artistic experimentation “Earth Homing: Reinventing Turf Houses” realigns us with architecture

and with our home. How can we ‘build’ for the future by revisiting this rich source of cultural heritage?


0 2



0 3


“Earth Homing” asks how can we contribute to a new ecological definition of ‘home’? Parallel to the

exhibition a series of talks will further investigate future implications of how artistic and architectural

production can redefine national identity and cultural value. How can Iceland’s ‘exotic’ national identity

allow for a reinvention of sorts? What can be learned from this architecture which dominated all of

Icelandic history until its eradication at the beginning of the 20th century? “Earth Homing” bridges

different disciplines to allow for creativity to be the driving force for an ecological and ethical future.

Academics or experts in their respective fields will give talks at the various historic buildings of Grótta:

Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud (University of Copenhagen), Hrólfur Karl Cela (Basalt Architects),

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir (RÚV), Kristín Loftsdóttir (University of Iceland), Sigurjón B. Hafsteinsson

(University of Iceland) and more speakers to be announced. Please visit Facebook and Instagram for the dates and locations of the talks.


Earth homing architecture

16.08.18 / 3.30pm, Hrólfur Karl Cela / Basalt Architects, Albertsbúð

Hrólfur Karl Cela, born in Reykjavík, Iceland is an architect and partner in Reykjavík Architecture Studio, Basalt Architects. Hrólfur studied architecture at the Iceland Academy for the Arts and at Parsons, the New School for Design in Manhattan, New York. Later he completed a teaching degree from the Iceland Academy for the Arts as well as studying Environmental Ethics at the University of Iceland. Basalt Architect´s projects are known for their interpretation of contemporary architecture and their sensitivity to natural context.

Turfhouses and (Post)Colonialism

21.08.18 / 6:00pm Sigurjón B. Hafsteinsson / University of Iceland, Raðagerdi

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson is a professor at the University of Iceland. His latest books are "Phallological Museum" (2013) and "Death and Governmentality: Neo-liberalism, Grief and the Nation-form" (2018, co-authored with Arnar Árnason).


The Reykjavík housing market – from the Reykjavík of Dieter Roth to a continuous crisis in a small, open economy

23.08.18 / 8:00pm, Sigrún Davíðsdóttir / RÚV, Veitingasala Nesklúbbsins

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir is an Icelandic journalist, living in London. She has covered the 2008 financial crisis, both in Iceland and elsewhere, extensively on her blog, In 2011, she published a thriller in Icelandic, "Samhengi hlutanna", related to the crisis.


Don’t be Fooled by Iceland: Nation-Branding and Racialization

31.08.18 / 2.30pm Kristín Loftsdóttir / University of Iceland, Fræðasetur


Kristín Loftsdóttir is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland. She finished her PhD from University of Arizona in 2000. Her research focuses on postcolonialism, whiteness, gender, racial identity, mobility and crisis, specializing in Iceland and Europe. She has also conducted research on migrant work of indigenous community in Niger in West Africa and irregular migrants in Brussels. Loftsdóttir is co-organizer of the project "Mobilities and Transnational Iceland" that received grant of Excellence by RANNÍS – Icelandic Centre for Research in 2016-2018.


Ambivalent homecoming. Turf Houses and Iceland’s place in the World

06.09.18 / 8:30pm Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud / University of Iceland, Fræðasetur

Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud is a Danish/Swiss cultural historian who has specialized in the cross cultural field of Icelandic-Danish history. Gremaud holds a PhD and in her thesis she introduced a crypto-colonial perspective in the analysis of Icelandic visual culture. She has published on contemporary art, Danish colonial history and the Anthropocene. Gremaud is affiliated with the Department of Danish at the University of Iceland and a part of the international research project "Denmark and the New North Atlantic". 

Opening Event

August 8, 2018

Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

Tremorgraphs, 2018

Audio Performance


We welcome you all to an audio performance by Gunnhildur Sigrúnar Hauks at the Grótta Lighthouse for the opening of Earth Homing: Reinventing Turf Houses / TORF on August 8th. Ten voices and four dancers perform a vertical composition for voice and movement from selected tremor and earthquake measurements roughly corresponding with locations of turf farms in each part of Iceland. The seismic measurements have been translated into score for voices along with the ruffle of the dancers moving up and down the lighthouse. The performance lasts approximately for 13 minutes and please note that there is limited access. An audio recording of tremorgraphs will be installed inside the lighthouse for the duration of the exhibition.


Limited accsess 23 individuals for each performance

20.30, 21.00, 21.30, 22.00, 22.30 (according to demand)


 Tremorgraphs was made for Earth Homing in July 2018 in collaboration with Hryndjandi,

 woman’s choir, The Icelandic Meteorological office, Háskóladans and Lindy Ravers dance



Seismic events and corresponding farm stets

(NV) Hjallur D. 01. km, ML. -8.0, (SA) Selið D. 5.0 km, ML 1.22, (SV) Keldur D. 3,5 km, ML. 0.69, (NA) Burstafell D. 4.4 km, ML. 2.23



Ásdís Magnea Þórðardóttir, Ásta Vilhjálmsdóttir, Birna Margrét Júlíusdóttir, Marta Valgeirsdóttir, Guðrún Arna Gylfadóttir, Kai Dobrowolska, Karina Hanney Marrero, Katrín Harðardóttir, Kristín Ástríður Ásgeirsdóttir, Sigríður Rósa Bjarnadóttir.



 Ola Chlipala, Hadrien, Serena Chan, Gunnar Þór Einarsson.

0 4


grotta opening hours.png
earth homing map.png

A |Ráðagerði

1 Birgir Andrésson

Untitled (húsalijóð), 1992

Pencil drawing on paper

60 x 80 cm

2 Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir

Opnar / Lokar, 2018

Light bulb, ceramic

Variable dimensions

3 Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir / Daniel Leeb

Merki, 2018

Film / Sound (Victoria Keddie)

Infinity loop

Performance: “Hjóla Merki”, 25.08.18

Location: Lighthouse, Ráðagerði, Bunker

Bring your bicycle and a light

4 Sólveig Aðalsteinsdóttir 

Sleeping Places, 1998

Ballpoint on paper, sealed in plastic

29,7 x 21 cm

5 Hrönn Gunnarsdóttir

Insight, Outside, 2018

Three windows, with mirror films

Wood, glass, mirror film

30 x 30 cm

6 Ólöf Nordal 

Tilraun um torf / Experiments with Turf, 2018


Variable dimensions



7 Sean Patrick O´Brien 

Kúluhús, 2016

Wood, copper, phosphorescent pigment, laser, paint, turf

2.2 x 2.2 x 2 m



8 Ólafur Sveinn Gíslason 

Hughæg rými - baðstofan / Subjective Spaces – baðstofan, 2018

Film / Sound, 12.50 min

21.08.18 / 6:00pm

Sigurjón B. Hafsteinsson / University of Iceland

“Turfhouses and (Post)Colonialism”


B| Albertsbúð 

9 Steingrímur Eyfjörð 

Moldarkofinn, 1996

23 drawings on paper
29,7 x 42 cm

16.08.18 / 3.30pm

Hrólfur Karl Cela / Basalt Architects 

“Earth Homing Architecture”


C| Grótta Lighthouse

10 Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

Óróaplott / Tremorgraphs, 2018

Audio performance (8.08.18) and voice installation

D | Vitavarðarhúsið 

11 Unnar Örn 

Mirage / Laug, 2018

Variable dimensions

12 Hrönn Gunnarsdóttir

Insight, Outside, 2018

Three windows, with mirror films

Wood, glass, mirror film

30 x 30 cm

13 elín Hansdóttir 

Fathom, 2018

Powder coated aluminium

21,16 cm x 2 cm x 1,7 cm 

Courtesy of i8 Gallery & the artist

14 Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir  

Dimmumót, 2018

Tallow, wick

Variable dimensions 

E | Fræðasetur 

15 Ragna Róbertsdóttir 

Untitled, 1991


27 x 35,5 x 64 cm 

16 Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir

Opnar / Lokar, 2018

Light bulb, ceramic

Variable dimensions

17 Borghildur Indriðadóttir 

Hei Maei, 2018

Digital print 

70 x 72,5 cm

18 Hrönn Gunnarsdóttir

Insight, Outside, 2018

Three windows, with mirror films

Wood, glass, mirror film

30 x 30 cm

19 Kolbeinn Hugi 

Cryptopia One: The Viking Expansion Objective, 2018 

Film / sound, 7.28 min

31.08.18 / 2.30pm 

Kristín Loftsdóttir / University of Iceland

“Don’t be Fooled by Iceland: Nation-Branding and Racialization”

06.09.18 / 8:30pm

Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud / University of Iceland 

“Ambivalent homecoming. Turf Houses and Iceland’s place in the World”

F | World War II Bunker 

20 Claudia Hausfeld 

Redevelopment, 2018

Photographs on paper, concrete, turf

Variable dimensions

G | Veitingasala Nesklúbbsins

23.08.18 / 8:00pm, 

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir (RÚV) 

“The Reykjavík housing market – from the Reykjavík 

of Dieter Roth to a continuous crisis in a small, open economy”

H | Ægisgarður: The Old Harbour

21 Borghildur Indriðadóttir 

Hei Maei, 2018

Performance and sound by Bane Branislav

18.08.18 for Menningarnótt / Culture Night


Ólöf Nordal



BUS | Hofgarðar 

bus 11 stop 

By bike - 30 minutes

By car - 10 minutes


0 5


“Earth Homing” takes place at on the island of Grótta in Seltjarnarnes, Reykjavík from 8th August until 9th September, 2018. The opening is on Wednesday, August 8 from 8 – 11.30pm. Maps for locations on the nature preserve can be found at Raðagerdi.

Opening hours

Albertsbúð, Vitavarðarhúsið, Fræðasetur and the Lighthouse:

Friday – Sunday

Access to the island will depend on the changing tides.


Friday – Sunday from 12 – 6pm

Please check Earth Homing on Facebook for the low tide schedule for Grótta.


0 6


The exhibition is curated by Annabelle von Girsewald

With Administration Assistance of Marta Kolbuszewska