Icelandic Artist Installing Glacial "Ice Watch" In Paris - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Artist Installing Glacial “Ice Watch” In Paris

Published December 2, 2015

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Ryan Parteka

Danish-Icelandic artist, Ólafur Elíasson, will be shipping melting glacier ice to Paris to be displayed at the Place de Pantheon during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

The Ice Watch, as it is called, is a memorial to the rapidly melting Arctic and the twelve icebergs harvested from Greenland are intended as a tangible wake up call. “The ice we are going to put in Paris is a tenth of what melts in a second in the Greenland summer” Ólafur told The Guardian.

At the glacier ! photo by my uncle #MagnusHjørleifsson #iceland #COP21 #paris #greenland #icewatchparis

A photo posted by Studio Olafur Eliasson (@studioolafureliasson) on

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Isis’s destruction of Palmyra and other public art, the installation may also take on a symbolism of cultural survival.

“Isis has been blowing up anything remotely resembling cultural identity,” Ólafur said. “To express your voice in a free space becomes ever more important.”

The twelve blocks of ice will form a kind of clock, to further remind visitors and perhaps some politicians, that the time to act is now.

The installation will open tomorrow, December 3rd. You can follow its progress on the Ice Watch’s Website.

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