„Tropical Iceland”

Ziad Antar

Vartan Avakian

Banu Cennetoğlu

Haris Epaminonda

Emre Hüner

Gülsün Karamustafa

Christodoulos Panayiotou


In my early summers in Greece, my brother used to tell me that the other side of the dry island we were facing from our balcony was full of penguins sloping down the icy hills and that one day we would go there with the boat and spend the day skiing. When we took the boat with my parents to go to a further island, I remember my excitement on the expectation of seeing the penguins and the sudden climate change from deep summer to glacial winter; the night before I hardly slept. Needless to say how deeply sad I was left when I realized that ‘the back’ side of the island was as dry as the one we always faced from home; and not a single penguin sliding. (Today when I see this island from sea or air, I am kind of waiting for a miraculous moment where the reflection of the snow will blind me and lovely creatures will invite me to slope down with them in my Eskimo suit.)


The closest experience to this childhood anticipation was when I visited Ski Dubai last March during the art fair. It felt like my brother never lied to me and that this pseudo-science fiction of his is the reality of 1.7 million people living in the emirate; a possibility, somebody’s plan. A failure?


My fantasy of Iceland has always being that of a tropical place; no palm trees and sand dunes; just icy forests and ethereal sounds coming deep from into the blue lagoons; Bjork and Sigur Ros. The island diagonally opposite from where I grew up on the other side of the continent has always been a ‘dream destination’ as for others is Greece, Cyprus or the Canary Islands.


This exhibition is about touristic expectations, failures and shut horizons.  It is also about the weather, landscapes and the impossibility of humanity against nature. Iceland becomes the cliché, a victim of mass media, of an economic crush and volcanic ash.


Sylvia Kouvali





Geirsgata 11, 101 Reykjavík


Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No 12, Tophane 34425 İstanbul