Sensory Lab

Disgust, nostalgia, excitement, joy? Feeling home, getting hungry, becoming alerted?

Close your eyes, take a whiff, touch the material. Where are you? Is it outside or indoors? Is it cold? Are you relaxed? And when do you find yourself? Is it as recent as your breakfast this morning or have you gone all the way back to when you were a kid sneaking around your grandfather’s workshop? Maybe it feels like nothing? There’s no reference to it in your past experiences? What is this novelty at the tip of your finger, the peculiarity lingering around your nostril? 

Sensory Lab grew out of an experiment that took place in the spring of 2021. A group of ten participants was handed 21 items from everyday life to smell with their eyes closed. The result of describing the experience and memories that surfaced after smelling each item became a collective memory piece – 21 poems. 

Sensory Lab welcomes you to celebrate senses: smell, touch, hearing. Open a jar and have  a slow breath in – bring yourself on a sensory journey through your own memory and imagination.


It’s okay not being Icelandic 

The exhibition is based on interviews with people who migrated to this area. We listened to stories about their sense of self in relation to the world they came from and the new world they’ve constructed for themselves in Iceland. The title refers to the idea that immigration is a mutual cultural exchange where diversity is accepted and welcomed, where everyone has the opportunity to learn something new from one another and enrich the community. Whether or not people are Icelandic, and in whatever way they may identify, there is room for them in Icelandic society as they are and as they choose to be.  Our guests are invited to shine a spotlight on these individuals, their perceptions, and their unique experiences by taking a peek into the boxes to let their stories come out.



Take a walk in our shoes 

It’s a wall of shoes with headphones for people to listen to stories shared by their owners of different age groups. You will find yourself giggling quietly at a pair of ordinary looking high heels and your breath will be taken away by old fashioned rain shoes from the last century. Everyday objects the simplest and most used hold incredible stories.


Various Things Happen 

The exhibition “Various Things Happen” was installed in the summer of 2016 and consists of stories and photographs grafted into old, hardbound books that were given to the Museum of Everyday Life after a book clearing at the public library in Ísafjörður. The title of the exhibition alludes to typical stories told around the kitchen table in conversations about everything and nothing. The stories were obtained by participants who showed their family photo albums and shared memories connected to the pictures.


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