Ice Watch Paris by Olafur Eliasson for Paris COP21



Art to drive awareness of what is happening on our planet.

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Ice Watch Paris by Olafur Eliasson for Paris COP21 Art to drive awareness of what is happening on our planet. During the international climate summit in Paris COP21, artist Olafur Eliasson created #IceWatchParis, 12 large blocks of arctic ice melting in Place du Parthénon.

Ice Watch Paris is an installation by visual artist Olafur Eliasson, known to the general public for his facade of the Harpa project by Henning Larsen Architects in Reykjavik or Contact, his exhibition at the Loius Vitton foundation.

Like other artists, including Shepard Fairey, Olafur Eliasson is also part of the Artists4ParisClimate2015 initiative to raise general awareness of climate change and its effects on everyone and everything.
In collaboration with geologist Minik Thorleif Rosung and non-profit organisation Julie's Bicycle, and with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the artist displayed 12 blocks of ice harvested from the Arctic Sea, positioning them like the numerals of a clock in Place du Parthènon

The ice is slowly melting, but it should last until 11 December, the last day of the summit. The remaining ice will then be given to schools and cultural institutions as part of a broader educational programme.

The photos say it loud and clear: these blocks of ice are shrinking very quickly, assisted by the unusually mild weather of early December. But what is even more striking is the major engagement with people observing this spectacle, which normally happens far from our eyes. The most compelling phenomenon of global warming here becomes something tangible.

IceWatchParis follows the contemporary rationale of art driving change, thanks to Olafur Eliasson's installation. Its carbon footprint is documented in detail and this phenomenon therefore becomes public, as well as providing the opportunity to share images and emotions on the web, thereby multiplying the message indefinitely.

We hope it can also influence the decisions of the summit participants for our future, for us even more than for our planet.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Olafur Eliassion with Minik Thorleif Rosing, Julie's Bicycle and Bloomberg Philantrophies - www.icewatchparis.com 
as part of  www.artists4parisclimate2015.com
Location: Paris. France
Year: 2015
Images: rights of the authors - see captions
Follow it on social networks with the hashtag #IceWatchParis


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