Icelandic Artist Denies He Is the Nature Terrorist Vandal

July 16, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

Icelandic artist Hlynur Hallsson believes to have found the person responsible for vandalism of Iceland’s purest nature sanctuaries. Earlier in April, a series of large words was found spray-painted across the landscape in a small portion north-east Iceland.

Hallsson, while viewing a recent exhibition at Alexander Levy gallery in Berlin spotted numerous photographic works by an artist named Julius von Bismarck, a young German artist who has previously been a student of Studio Olafur Eliasson. The artist seems to have already been branded by the Environment Agency of Iceland as a sort of “nature terrorist.”

Despite the claims of others, Von Bismarck claims that he did not create the graffiti, but merely photographed it, adding that he has not even been to Iceland since sometime in 2010.

I want to focus on the idea of nature and its origins in Romanticism. I was aware that what was done might violate some laws, but I am not happy that the Icelandic authorities call the paintings ‘nature terrorism.’

Artist Hlynur Hallsson creatings work using a similar practice, but seems to be quite mindful of nature, stating:

I don’t approve of works that damage nature, regardless whether they’re made in the name of visual art or commercialism. To mark moss, lava or rock faces with paint which doesn’t wash off in the rain is unnecessary and obviously damages nature.

There’s a difference between spot-on conceptual vandalism and just being an asshole. Who wants to call it?

Several similar pictures from such vandalized sites in Switzerland, Egypt and Germany were also seen during the now infamous exhibition at Alexander Levy. (Images: Icelandic Review/ Alexander Levy/ Vimeo