The art world has changed drastically in the past few decades and continues to do so every day. Contemporary artists have constantly experimented with conventional as well as unconventional mediums and boldly challenged the notion of art itself.
Olafur Eliasson is one such versatile artist who believes that art has the ability to change the world. With his roots in Denmark and Iceland, he is famous for his large scale installations using natural elements such as water , air and light. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 and managed to mark his place in the art world momentarily, when his work, ‘The Weather Project’ was installed in London’s Tate Modern. He often uses information and inspiration from his native land, Iceland, in his art works to communicate his ideas and concepts.
“As an artist, I am interested in how we give knowledge a body. What does a thought feel like, and how can felt knowledge encourage action?”
In honor of the Fifth assessment Report on Climate Conference organised by the IPCC and the United Nations, Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing exhibited his work ‘Ice Watch’ at the Copenhagen City Hall Square. The duo transported 100 tonnes of inland ice from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland to the streets of Copenhagen. The 12 blocks of ice were placed in the formation of a clock and allowed to melt in time. The art work was designed to create awareness about climate change and global warming and also encourage the audience to take action towards the preservation of the resources of our planet.
“I hope that people will touch the inland ice on City Hall Square and be touched by it.”
Creating awareness is the first step towards making or causing a social change and Olafur Eliasson managed to do just that with this monumental installation. Ice Watch was a physical wake-up call that the ice is melting, sea levels are rising, temperatures are increasing and that climate change is a fact.
– Tanya Singh