lukas bury

They have no pictures on the walls | Lukas Bury

We started with Lukas Bury a creative collaboration in Ocotober 2021 as the first participant in Gerðuberg Calling! Lukas worked at the library on his own project titled  They have no pictures on the walls.

Lukas Bury (b. 1991 in Bonn, Germany), based in Reykjavík, is a visual artist with a Polish and German background, interested in historical understanding and the narrative power of images and icons. Here you find an interview with Lukas on the themes of belonging and safe spaces.

They have no pictures on the walls is an artistic reasearch project that includes a residency in Gerðuberg, an exhibtion and a publication. The title refers to a casual conversation the artist had with an Icelandic acquaintances, who was genuinely surprised by an observation she had made: Polish immigrants living in Iceland for years have no pictures on their walls. What does an empty wall in a person´s home mean? Where is one's home when suspended between two places? Does it say anything about the motivation behind a decision to migrate? With these questions in mind the visual artist developed with Weronika Balcerak a research project. They began exploring and documenting the Polish community in Iceland and its' clichés among Icelanders.

Lukas Bury took residency in the Reykjavík City Library in Gerðuberg and reflected on the findings in a new context as a participant in the project Gerðuberg calling. With the library staff the research duo introduced their applied artistic methods to work against misconceptions of foreigners as a homogeneous mass and ways to avoid overlooking individuals and their stories. Gerðuberg calling is an experimental project where an artist works on a a personal project relating to the themes of belonging and safe spaces.

A publication with the research findings will be launched early 2022 in Reykjavík City Library in Gerðuberg. It includes a reflection of interactions between Poles and Icelanders. Where do they occur and what kind of relationships do these type of interactions allow for? There are strong indicator that the interactions predominantly allow for service provider and customer relationships we develope at the workplace. Outside of the everyday work environment, most people spend their leisure time with compatriots. Such a phenomenon can lead to a parallel society, a dissonance that makes it harder for natives and foreigners to get to know each other.

In RÝMD Lukas exhibits in December 2021 a series of paintings depicting homes of Polish immigrants living in Iceland.  The exhibition is an uncommon but still insightful observation about the Polish community. The exhibition is curated by Claire Paugam and has a special contribution by Weronika Bacerak. Here is the link to the exhibition on Facebook.

Further information
Dögg Sigmarsdóttir
Project manager | Civic Participation
dogg.sigmarsdottir@reykjavik.is