Ultima Thule

Odysseus Atlas – Kęstutis Montvidas (LT) and Jūra Bardauskaité (LT)

Fjarðará Lake, February 15 and 16, 2019, from 18:00 to 22:00. 

Odysseus Atlas is a creative initiative by artists Kęstutis Montvidas and Jūra Bardauskaité with the island as its central theme. While in residency at Skaftfell, Odysseus Atlas has found its research subject, the elusive nature of islands, on the small islet in Fjarðará Lake.

During the light festival “List í Ljósi”, which is held annually in Seyðisfjörður in celebration of the return of the sun, Odysseus Atlas are presenting Ultima Thule, a subtle interactive light installation on the islet in Fjarðará Lake. Their creative intent suggests perceiving this small island likewise as an Ultima Thule and invites wanderers to a spiritual journey. 

Ultima Thulewill be visible during List í Ljósi on 15thand 16thFebruary, from 18:00 to 22:00. 

Bare and meager, in some way, this islet engages the viewer at once. It looms in the midst of Seyðisfjörður, surrounded by many questions, unanswered and not yet asked. Is it sacred or abandoned? Why is it excluded from maps? Isn‘t it more a symbol of itself than the true thing after all? 

It is believed that Pytheus (Greek geographer from 4th century BC) may have sailed as far as Iceland, to which he gave the name Ultima Thule, the “furthest island”. Unfortunately his book of travels was subsequently lost and no one was able to confirm its existence.Yet the image of Ultima Thule never faded. It established a mental connection between islands and the unknown. 

Kęstutis Montvidas and Jūra Bardauskaité are artists from Lithuania, who are currently on an open-ended journey between residency programs that are situated on islands. They have been in residency at Skaftfell during January and February. Their stay is supported by the Nordic Baltic Mobility Programme.