Our Glacial Perspectives by Olafur Eliasson

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A monumental art installation that looks at climate change from a different perspective.

Artist Olafur Eliasson creates spectacular installations that are as impressive as they are thought-provoking. From the huge waterfall suspended in the Versailles gardens to The Weather Project that brought a large artificial sun inside Tate Modern, his artworks are monumental and memorable. For Our Glacial Perspectives, the artist took things further; he designed a spectacular installation and placed it on the Hochjochferner glacier in South Tyrol, in the Italian Alps.

The installation was commissioned by Talking Waters Society, an organization concerned with the way water has become one of humanity’s most precious resources. Olafur Eliasson designed the installation with components that come together to immerse visitors in an educational experience about climate change. Visitors first encounter the 410-meter long pathway adorned with nine metal arches. Four of the arches are black, while five of them have a white finish to represent the five ice ages. The distance between the arches also depicts the duration of the ice ages and the intermediary periods.

The centerpiece of the installation, the main pavilion is a modernized version of an antique armillary sphere that depicted the movement of celestial objects. Made from blue colored glass and steel, 11 rings surround a viewing deck. Visitors can walk inside the structure; while standing on the center of the platform, they can observe the horizon line and the four cardinal points. The pavilion also marks the movement of the Sun throughout the day; this allows visitors to contemplate the passage of time from a new perspective.

The specially chosen location encourages visitors to interact with a spectacular environment that may nonetheless disappear due to climate change. For now, Olafur Eliasson‘s Our Glacial Perspective remains as a striking landmark in a sea of snow and ice. Photographs© Oskar Da Riz.

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