A talk with … Claus Sterneck

Claus Sterneck is one of the founders and the curator of the STEYPA exhibition. In this interview, Claus talks about the meaning of the word STEYPA and the idea behind the exhibition.


Claus Sterneck

Claus Sterneck

What does photography mean to you?

There are at least two aspects I would like to mention: Photography to me is about capturing a single moment or view. And seeing something that the human eye cannot see, or taking a different perspective. Another important aspect is other people’s photography – looking at photographs and how others see the world around them.

 You founded STEYPA a few years ago. What exactly is the idea behind STEYPA?

In 2012, I wanted to create a platform for showing the work of various photographers combined into one exhibition. Together with a friend of mine, Kaja, the idea for STEYPA was born and we began planning for the first exhibition in Djúpavík in 2013. The concept then – as also today – is to show Iceland from different points of view. The subject matter should be personal or unusual and not the typical postcard motifs. Over the years we’ve had some pretty unusual themes, like surfing in Iceland, the cancer treatment of one of the participating photographers, erotic photos and clouds in Iceland

I am the curator and organizer for STEYPA and the most rewarding part about this “job” is the entire time from concept development to the opening day. The tiring part of the work, before the rest can even begin, is finding a suitable location for the exhibition.

What does STEYPA actually mean?

STEYPA is an Icelandic word with various meanings. In 2012, the definition of “concrete” was important to Kaja and me since the first exhibition was shown in an old factory that was made entirely of concrete – namely the old herring factory in Djúpavík. Plus we wanted an Icelandic word that is short and easy to write and pronounce!

You are also showing photographs in the exhibition – what motifs?

For the first three exhibitions, I had various themes: “Djúpavík in the winter”, “Kría” (the Arctic tern) and “Silence” (Fog over a fjord). For the last two exhibitions, I’ve been placing more emphasis on how the pictures are actually presented.

The future?

I can’t say much about the future. Next year I will certainly organize another STEYPA exhibition, this time in Reykjavík or the immediate surroundings. If anyone knows of a suitable location, please let me know!

Thanks for the “chat”!


Have a look at Claus’ homepage and on Facebook.

Translation: Melinda Kumbalek


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: