Our walk took us through interesting neighborhoods and public walkways lined with stores and cafes, but in the end my favorite memory is our trip to the National Museum of Iceland. As we entered, I noticed a side hall dedicated to a black and white photography exhibition called An Eternity in a Moment featuring the work of Icelandic photographer Rúnar Gunnarsson.
Rúnar was born in 1944 in the capital city. He grew up surrounded by this urban landscape and the people who lived in it. He received a camera at the age of 14, and once he picked it up, a passion was born. The subject that fascinated him the most was "... human life in the multifaceted city life." The city, its human life and complexity have been his subjects as a photographer ever since.
Not only is Rúnar's creative work exhibited regularly, he has also published 49 photographic books, and maintains a collection containing over 100,000 images, with many more available in digital format. His latest book, Gullöldin – Myndir og minningar (The Golden Age – Pictures and Memories), features images of Reykjavík and its residents in the second half of the 20th century. " It also contains an extremely informative autobiographical introduction with a photo-historical twist, as well as short stories that bring back both sweet and bitter memories of the century gone by."
The title of the exhibition I saw - Eternity in a Moment - is a direct quote from something Rúnar uttered in a conversation with Sigurlaug Dagsdóttir who wrote all the text for this exhibition. I love black and white photography, and I really love black and white historic candid photos of people which is exactly what I found when I entered the exhibit hall. I was immediately lost in a different place and time.
I cannot do justice to the photography I saw by writing about it. I will just have to let the photos I took do the talking. I also included an image with a very small selection of the photographic books he has published above, but you can see all 49 at this link - www.blurb.ca/user/Runarg. Enjoy!