Artist Olafur Eliasson installs 24 ice blocks to demonstrate the impact of climate change

by Sora Alfatlawi

Illustrating the urgency of climate change in his latest installation, artist Olafur Eliasson has installed 24 blocks of melting ice outside the Tate Modern and six additional outside the Bloomberg offices in the City of London. 15 years after he brought the sun to the Tate in the museums’ most popular installation – the weather project, Eliasson has teamed up with Greenlandic geologist Minik Rosing for Ice Watch London. The free-floating ice blocks were taken out of the water from broken ice sheets of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland and transported to the UK on a cargo ship.  The installation, launched on the 11th December will remain put until it melts – a literal reminder of the impact that climate change has on the environment.

 

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#icewatchlondon @tate #bringyourchildren

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“Eliasson and Rosing hope many more people will understand the reality of climate change by experiencing ‘Ice Watch’. Although we may have seen photographs of the melting ice caps, we rarely have a physical experience of these conditions,” Tate Modern said.

As the installation coinciding with the meetings of world leaders at the COP24 climate change conference in Poland, Eliasson hopes that the project will inspire the public to take awareness of the significance of climate change. This comes after a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 October, which affirms that we have only 12 years to limit the most extreme effects of climate change.

 

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Nature is not something external to us. We are part of it. In the words of Danish author Josefine Klougart: ‘Rather than seeing culture as the indication of a difference between humanity and nature, we need to see it as the manifestation of an intimate connection. When we speak, we are nature speaking; when we think, we are nature thinking; when we control nature outside of us, we are nature controlling something within itself.’ Ice Watch is meant to raise awareness of climate change and explores how feelings of distance and disconnection, of proximity and relevance, hold us back or make us engage. Ice Watch is opening in London tomorrow morning at Bankside outside Tate Modern as well as outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London. The transportation of one block of ice from the Nuuk Kangerlua fjord in Greenland to London is the carbon equivalent of one person’s journey from London to Nuuk and back to witness firsthand the physical precarity of the Greenland ice sheet. #icewatchlondon #climatecontext @bloombergdotorg

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The installation is open to the public and set to last until 21st December. A major exhibition of Eliasson’s artwork will follow at Tate Modern in July 2019.

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