„Ný gömul hús“: Um aðdráttarafl og fortíðleika í nýjum miðbæ á Selfossi
Í nýjum miðbæ á Selfossi verða ríflega þrjátíu hús úr fortíðinni endurgerð. Húsin eiga það sameiginlegt að þau stóðu áður víðs vegar um landið en brunnu, voru rifin eða eyðilögðust með öðrum hætti og eru því ekki lengur til í upprunalegri mynd. Hugmyndin byggi á því að skapa megi áhugaverðan stað fyrir ferðamenn og aðlaðandi miðbæ fyrir heimafólk með því að vísa til fortíðar. Greinin byggir á tilviksrannsókn þar sem nýju miðbæjarskipulagi á Selfossi voru gerð skil í viðtölum við aðstandendur tillögunnar og íbúa á Selfossi. Rætt er um þá merkingu sem fólk leggur í nærumhverfi sitt, meðal annars með tilliti til skrifa fræðimanna á borð við Laurajane Smith og Rodney Harrison um menningararf sem orðræðu. Skoðað er hvaða máli söguvitund, þekking, staðsetning og samhengi skiptu í viðhorfum viðmælenda til nýja miðbæjarins. Sérstaklega er fjallað um það í hvaða tilvikum íbúar eru líklegir til upplifa fortíðleika, eins og fræðimaðurinn Cornelius Holtorf hefur fjallað um það hugtak, og hvaða þættir þurfa að vera til staðar eigi að skapa slíka tengingu.
“New Old Houses” Attraction and pastness in new town centre of Selfoss Selfoss, a small municipality in southern Iceland, is introducing a plan for a new town centre in which reconstructions of historical buildings are to be erected. The proposed plan includes a cluster of over thirty buildings, all reconstructions of older wooden structures in Iceland, which are no longer in existence. As they were originally located in various parts of Iceland, only a few structures originate from the town of Selfoss itself, which is generally considered to be very contemporary in terms of its built-up environment. The proposed reconstructions come from various periods, mostly from the 19th and 20th century, and vary in design and style. One structure stands out, namely a hypothetical reconstruction of a medieval wooden cathedral. This paper is a case study of the new town centre plan. In-depth interviews were conducted in order to shed light on different and often contrasting perspectives connected to the proposed construction. Building on scholars like Laurajane Smith and Rodney Harrison, who describe cultural heritage as a process of meaning-making, the research reveals different perspectives voiced by stakeholders and locals focusing on conceptualisations of cultural heritage and authenticity. The research further questions how historical design is used to create a new townscape aimed at effecting a sense of pastness, as described by Cornelius Holtorf, for the benefit of the local population, business and tourism. The study indicates that the distinction between old and new, authentic and fake, varies and might even be eroding. Building on Holtorf, the paper discusses whether a sense of pastness can be created with replicas of historic structures, where the age of the structures is not the focal point, but rather the age value and the quality of being of the past. One of the key factors in creating a sense of pastness is the audience’s perception of the past. The proposed reconstructions of historic buildings and material clues must be consistent with the audience’s imagination of the past. The importance of location in cultural landscapes became evident as structures which originated from the town of Selfoss were well received by the locals. Their reconstruction in the new town centre was in line with the identity of the locals and the image of the town. Therefore, structures from Selfoss are considered highly likely to create a sense of pastness. Buildings which originated from elsewhere were not welcomed by the locals. They particularly found that the proposed medieval cathedral was an uninvited guest, failing in creating a sense of pastness.