You are the Weather
Introduction by Margrét H Blöndal
Words about weather are embedded into the library floor
How do you collect the names of the Icelandic weather that are also references to the inner self with all its turbulences? It is impossible to sit indoors and recall them from memory because the weather is genuine and needs direct experience; you need to be outside, embraced or beaten by it.
Weather is the prime force in Iceland and its unique characteristic as well. All movements take place by virtue of its effects. No one changes mood and personality so often. Sometimes it makes life easier for the residents and sometimes tougher, but it is everywhere a participant, and a whimsical one.
A list of words is different when read from the page and when embedded in the floor, high up on a cliff. Such a list can never be complete but I felt it was important that it should be capricious like the weather with all its harsh and gentle nuances. Some of the words I choose do not refer directly to the weather but to the conditions of the sea or air. In other cases the descriptions apply to seasonal farming conditions but hint at the weather at the same time, such as tame and bounteous. Several instances enlist poetic diction, for example frisky or playful to describe the spring breeze.
The visitor to the installation walks on a surface of disparate forces and with each step over to the next tile the weather changes. “He/she” – for the weather in Icelandic is often personified in this way – continually shifts character.
Margrét H Blöndal selected You are the Weather's Icelandic words
Thanks to: Magnús Þór Jónsson, Sölvi Magnússon, Steinunn H. Blöndal, Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir, Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir, Haraldur Jónsson, Trausti Jónsson and Tómas R. Einarsson