New installation outside Tate Modern confronts the public with climate change

A public artwork by Olafur Eliasson has been unveiled today in London on the occasion of COP24 in Katowice, Poland and the third anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg Installation: Bankside, outside Tate Modern, 2018 / Photo: Justin Sutcliffe / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg
Installation: Bankside, outside Tate Modern, 2018 / Photo: Justin Sutcliffe / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg Installation: Bankside, outside Tate Modern, 2018 / Photo: Justin Sutcliffe / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg
Installation: Bankside, outside Tate Modern, 2018 / Photo: Justin Sutcliffe / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg Installation: City of London, outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters, 2018 / Photo: Charlie Forgham-Bailey / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Supported by Bloomberg
Installation: City of London, outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters, 2018 / Photo: Charlie Forgham-Bailey / © 2018 Olafur Eliasson

Outside the Tate Modern (where an exhibition of Eliasson’s work will open in July 2019), 24 blocks of ice have been arranged on the Bankside. Another six blocks have been placed in the City, outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters.

These very blocks of ice were taken from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland. Each block of ice weighs between 1.5 and 5 tonnes. Fished out of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord, they had already been lost from the ice sheet and were melting into the ocean. The Greenland ice sheet loses 10,000 such blocks of ice per second throughout the year; fishing these blocks of ice from the sea did not affect the quantity of ice in Greenland.

In this powerful installation, the general public will see the ice gradually melt, visually witnessing the disastrous effects of climate change.

‘The blocks of glacial ice await your arrival. Put your hand on the ice, listen to it, smell it, look at it – and witness the ecological changes our world is undergoing. Feelings of distance and disconnect hold us back, make us grow numb and passive. I hope that Ice Watch arouses feelings of proximity, presence, and relevance, of narratives that you can identify with and that make us all engage. We must recognise that together we have the power to take individual actions and to push for systemic change. Come touch the Greenland ice sheet and be touched by it. Let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.’
— Olafur Eliasson, artist

Ice Watch

Ice Watch London is the third part of the Ice Watch artwork series. Each piece has been timed exactly to coincide with a global climate change event. This will be Eliasson’s first temporary sculpture in London and is a continuation of the recurring themes in his work of promoting awareness of climate change and sustainable energy.

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. He strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large. Art, for him, is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world. Eliasson’s works span sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery, his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects, interventions in civic space, arts education, policy-making, and issues of sustainability and climate change.

olafureliasson.net

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More info on the project and climate facts on icewatchlondon.com

From 11 December 2018 until the ice has melted (Depending on upcoming weather conditions, Ice Watch is predicated to be on show until 21 December 2018.)

Olafur Eliasson at Tate Modern opening 11 July 2019 www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/olafur-eliasson