Ice Watch

“Ice Watch,” by the Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and the geologist Minik Rosing.
Paris, France.

Ice Watch

The installation, a circle of icebergs with a circumference of twenty metres, is installed at the Place du Pantheon during this week’s Climate Change Conference.

Ice Watch

The idea of “Ice Watch” is twofold: the ice is arranged like a watch, or a clock face, to indicate the passing of time; and, in real time, observers will be able to watch the ice melt. Eliasson explains, “A circle is like a compass. It leaves navigation to the people who are inside it. It is a mistake to think that the work of art is the circle of ice—it is the space it invents. And it is on a street in Paris—and a street in Paris can’t be more important than it is right now. We all feel that strongly.”

Ice Watch

“Ice Watch” was first mounted in Copenhagen last year, outside the Town Hall, while the I.C.C.P. climate report was being written, in what Eliasson calls “a trial run.” François Zimeray, the French Ambassador to Denmark, encouraged Eliasson to bring it to Paris. There was no question, according to Zimeray, of the exhibit being cancelled after the attacks there in November. “On the contrary! The vocation of Paris is cultural life and the exchange of ideas. It is so important now to show that life is alive in the streets, in the very center of Paris!”

Ice Watch

The New Yorker


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