Ice Watch Paris is a project by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, on the occasion of COP 21 – United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Twelve immense blocks of ice harvested from icebergs in Greenland, were arranged in clock formation at Place du Panthéon, where they will melt away during COP21.
“A circle is like a compass. It leaves navigation to the people who are inside it,” Eliasson explains. “It is a mistake to think that the work of art is the circle of ice – it is the space it invents.”
The exhibition opened last week, and will be up for two weeks. If you put your ear to the ice, you can also hear a little moment of pop and crack! What is released is the cleanest possible air – it is fifteen thousand years old. Eliasson says, “It is a little pop that has travelled fifteen thousand years to meet you in Paris, and tell the story of climate change.”
Note: The blocks of ice included in Ice Watch each weigh about 10 tonnes and were fished out of the sea in the Nuuk Fjord. They had already been lost from the ice sheet before being ‘harvested’, and were rapidly melting into the ocean... So the acquisition of the ice did not affect the Greenland ice sheet, which loses the equivalent of 1,000 such blocks of ice per second throughout the year. Click here for more photos.
UPDATE : For more, check out Eliasson and other incredible artists' work in Artsy's 2016 Year in Art feature.