Sirkus was a tiny ramshackle shed of a bar. It had a unique odour, was often overcrowded and was kitted out with the strangest collection of fittings and furnishings since Fifth Cousin Donald passed away and left you his First World War trench mop collection and his favourite stuffed emu.
The house itself was decorated by two large puffins and had the word ‘Sirkus’ on top in big light-bulb-covered letters—most of which never worked. It had a unique odour, was often overcrowded and was kitted out with the strangest collection of fittings and furnishings since Gertrude – one of those “family friends” you were always forced to call Auntie against your will – passed away and left you her wicker owls and gold-plated dentures.
Despite, or possibly because of, its many flaws, Sirkus was the premier drinking venue of almost everyone who makes Reykjavik life so vibrant, fun and creative. Bjork even shot a video in there.
As the days tick down to the building’s total destruction, the hardcore Sirkus devotees still hope for a miracle reopening. It ain’t gonna happen, but a collective of Icelandic artists, Kling og Bang, is trying to do the next-best-thing.
Kling og Bang will pay tribute to Sirkus, the Reykjavik bar, landmark, and hub of the alternative arts scene, by saving its facade and interior and re-erecting it at the Frieze Art Fair – “like a circus moving to another town”, the event’s website states. “A zany nomadic act reflecting the drive of Icelandic art, producing a situation of one circus within another for artists to respond to.”
The Frieze Art Fair happens each autumn in London’s Regent’s Park and has become one of the biggest contemporary art events in Europe. This year’s fair is from 16th to 19th October and around 30,000-40,000 people are expected to attend on each of the four days.
The Sirkus project will generate huge attention for Icelandic art – both in Iceland and abroad – and Iceland Express have decided to sponsor the project with 90,000 kroner worth of flight credits.
Iceland Express is a budget airline offering cheap flights to Reykjavik from 14 other major European cities.
Visit the Iceland Express website for more information or to book cheap flights to Iceland.