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FLÓÐ Opens This Week


Written March 12, 2023


Jónsi (Jón Þór Birgisson), lead singer of the world-famous Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, created an experiential artwork for the National Nordic Museum. FLÓÐ, “Flood” in Icelandic, opens on March 17 at 6pm with a sold-out Members party and open house. The exhibition runs through July 30 and entrance is included in the regular General Admission ticket starting March 18. On First Thursdays, entrance to Jónsi will be $5 at the door.

A captivating art experience inspired by the ocean and the dire realities of climate change, it features original music created by Jónsi and invites participants to let the room engage all their senses.

Jónsi’s first U.S. museum exhibition, FLÓÐ represents the natural connection between sister cities, Seattle and Reykjavík. It immerses participants in an oceanic interpretation. Jónsi’s music is augmented by a choir composition and field recordings, simulating the experience of a wave traveling the length of the gallery while the scent of seaweed, tinctured and distilled by the artist, fills the air, and a delicate mist of droplets touch the skin.

When asked about the exhibit, Jónsi said “It is a spatial scent and sound sculpture, my main inspiration being the ocean. First, I was thinking about Reykjavík and Seattle, both being these coastal fishing cities and the ocean being this ominous and mysterious force playing a central part in our lives.”

Jónsi has also designed installations that replicate other natural phenomena, including white-out blizzard conditions and a volcanic eruption in his home country of Iceland.

There will be numerous programs for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of FLÓÐ, including art classes. For younger visitors, there will be opportunities to enjoy sensory play days on a monthly basis from April through June.

University of Washington’s Colin Connors gives a lightning-style lecture on the Viking Era before screening How to Train Your Dragon 2 – featuring Jónsi's music – in the Museum’s final installment of the Fact & Fiction Film Series on March 24. In June, Icelandic wellness expert Jósa Goodlife will offer several sound bath experiences.  The exhibition will close with a silent disco featuring a Jónsi-curated playlist on July 28.