Glaciers Seen from a Different Perspective
Titled Our Glacial Perspectives, Eliasson’s permanent installation is reachable via a 410 m path that runs across the ridge of the glacier, and is accessible only on foot. Nine arched frames are positioned along the path, marking the intervals between previous ice ages, before coming to a large spherical object, known as The Pavilion. Mounted on a large frame, it works as an astronomical instrument. The sphere is made of steel and glass, and rings that follow the sun’s path. The rings of different sizes are comprised of 700 blue glass panes which plot the summer solstice, the equinox and winter solstice. The time of day can thus be determined based on the position of the sun.
This instrument brings a new dimension, challenging the viewer with established perspectives of the planets and the Ice-Age. Considering the planetary cycles, it also brings a heightened awareness of water, our most precious resource. The spherical sculpture is intended to highlight the magnitude of climate change and melting of glaciers, which can perhaps be too abstract to adequately conceptualise. Its location on the glacier is significant, marking a point of intersection.
In a special vernissage at the inauguration of his installation on Grawand ridge, internationally-renowned artist and Goodwill Ambassador to the UNDP for Climate Action, Olafur Eliasson, spoke about his artwork, and the burning issues we face in this era of climate change. With his memorial to the glacier, Olafur Eliasson seeks to inspire individual responses to the urgent questions surrounding this highly pressing topic.
Born in Denmark in 1967, Olafur Eliasson grew up in Iceland and later studied Art in Copenhagen, before moving to Berlin. His works frequently concern the subjects of Nature and Perception.