Ice blocks in Paris make climate change tangible

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08.12.2015-  80 tonnes of ice blocks from Greenland have been arranged in a clock formation on Place du Panthéon in Paris, where they will melt during COP21, the ongoing Climate Change Conference.

The installation, Ice Watch, by Icelandic-Danish Artist Ólafur Elíasson and Minik Rosing, Professor of Geology at the University of Copenhagen, showcases ice from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland with the aim of inspiring public action against climate change.

From 3 December to the end of the conference, the ice will be allowed to melt in the square, offering the general public a glimpse at climate change on our planet.

“Let’s appreciate this unique opportunity – we, the world, can and must act now. Let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action” said Olafur Eliasson.”Art has the ability to change our perceptions and perspectives on the world, and Ice Watch makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope it will inspire shared commitment to taking climate action.”


Ice Watch is a part of an initiative called Artists4Paris Climate in connection with COP21. 

“From my visit to the Arctic last year, I have a very lively memory of the horrifying noise and sight of huge ice blocks cracking and breaking away from the pack,” said Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and   President of COP21. “The Arctic is indeed the gatekeeper of climate disorder: for years, this region has been sending us signals that we cannot neglect anymore. The international community must hear them and turn them into acts.”

Ólafur Elíasson combines art and science to explore our relationship with space and time. His work exemplifies the power of collaborative efforts, and his art is equally at home in museums, public space, and everyday life. Elíasson’s work spans from photography and film to sculpture, installation, and architecture. He is well-known for his 2003 installationThe weather project, at Tate Modern London, which was seen by over two million visitors. 



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Photo Credits

  • Studio Ólafur Elíasson