German artist Julius von Bismarck, who is suspected of being responsible for spray-painting giant letters on natural relics in the Mývatn region in Northeast Iceland, including tuff ring volcano Hverfjall, which is under nature protection, sent a statement to national broadcaster RÚV denying his part in the action.Photo: Hlynur Hallsson.
The statement reads:
“The 8 photographs of the series ‘Kunst’ (Art) where taken in 4 different countries in 2012 & 2013. Different anonymous artists collaborated on each location to produce the inscriptions. Julius von Bismarck wasn’t at any time in control of the action of these artists. The artists acted completely on there own regarding each inscription. The only time Bismarck has been in Iceland was in 2010.”
Icelandic artist Hlynur Hallsson pointed out von Bismarck’s possible involvement in the action, which is being investigated by the Húsavík police, after having seen his exhibition in Berlin on Saturday.
On the website of the ARTslanT gallery in Berlin, where the series of eight photographs is on display, the exhibition is described thus:
“Nature is usually brought to the point in a fraction of a second. We define complex constellations as ‘forest’ without a moment’s hesitation. In a series of nature inscriptions, Bismarck and Julian Charrière directly bring together nature and its conceptual (humanised) form. In a piece of forest they have written ‘Wald’, on a crater ‘Krater’, in a meadow ‘Wiese’, etc. The banality of the terms contrasts with the reality. Because, where ‘Wald (forest)’ is written, the question is raised of whether one is really looking at a ‘Wald (forest)’ or simply some object, which, like art itself, defies definition.”
RÚV took this to be an indirect confession by the artist.