Olafur Eliasson COP21 Ice Installation Awaits Decision After Paris

Olafur Eliasson

In light of the tragic events in Paris on November 13, Olafur Eliasson and his team are working to find a suitable solution to how Ice Watch can play a role at the COP21. Ice watch is an installation involving Twelve immense blocks of ice, harvested from free-floating icebergs in a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, will be arranged in clock formation on the Place de la République, where they will melt away during COP21. Ice weight: 80 tonnes Origin: Nuup Kangerlua fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland Transport: Organised by Group Greenland / Greenland Glacier Ice, the ice was collected by divers and dockworkers from the Royal Arctic Line and then transported in six refrigerated containers from Nuuk to Aalborg, Denmark by container ship and to Paris by truck.

Glacier ice installation Ice Watch aims to encourage public action against climate change at COP21. Acclaimed visual artist Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with distinguished geologist Minik Rosing, today announced the upcoming launch of a major public artwork on display during the UN Climate Summit (COP21) in Paris. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and realised in partnership with cre- ative sustainability charity Julie’s Bicycle, Ice Watch will showcase 80 tonnes of ice from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland with the aim of inspiring public action against climate change.

Eliasson frequently alters the public’s perception of the environment through his art projects, addressing some of the world’s problems and proposing practical solutions. In 2012, together with solar engineer Frederik Ottesen,

he designed and launched Little Sun, a social enterprise that produces and distributes solar-powered LED lights. The lanterns are designed to provide a safe, healthy solution for the nearly one quarter of the world’s population that do not have access to electricity.

“Today we have access to reliable data that sheds light on what will happen and what can be done,” said Olafur Eliasson. “Let’s appreciate this unique opportunity – we, the world, can and must act now. Let’s transform climate- knowledge into climate action. As an artist I hope my works touch people, which in turn can make something that may have previously seemed quite abstract more a reality. Art has the ability to change our perceptions and perspectives on the world, and Ice Watch makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope it will inspire shared commitment to taking cli- mate action.”

Olafur Eliasson, b. 1967: Eliasson’s work encompasses photography, film, sculpture, installation, and architecture. Major exhibitions and public projects include The weather project at Tate Modern, London (2003), which was seen by more than 2 million visitors; The New York City Waterfalls, commissioned by Public Art Fund, New York (2008); and Contact at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014). Established in 1995, his Berlin studio today numbers about 90 craftsmen, architects, and art historians.

Minik Thorleif Rosing, b. 1957: Professor of geology at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at Copenhagen University, Rosing has played an important role in the geological exploration of Greenland. His research lead to the dating of the origin of life on Earth to several hundred million years earlier than previously thought.

“From my visit to the Arctic last year I have a very lively memory of the horrifying noise and sight of huge ice blocks cracking and breaking away from the pack. The Arctic is indeed the gatekeeper of climate disorder: for years, this region has been sending us signals that we cannot neglect anymore. The international community must hear them and turn them into acts”; says, Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, President of COP21

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: public health, environment, education, government innovation and the arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million, and it has a history of supporting creative and innovative public art. In 2014 alone, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported artist Tobias Rehberger’s Dazzle Ship in London as part of 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, and Liverpool Biennial; We the People, Dahn Vo’s multi-site exhibition in New York City, organized by Public Art Fund; and Doug and Mike Starn’s Big Bambú installation in Jerusalem. This year it launched the Public Art Challenge, encouraging temporary public works of art in cities across the U.S.

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