Art and Culture  Exhibition 

Death of a Glacier

Nature, Art, and the Future of Earth

Olafur Eliasson 

Glaciar Ok (Islandia Iceland)

For some days now we have been mourning the death of a glacier. It is a demise that marks a milestone in the history of humanity. The glacier, known as Ok, has melted. It no longer exists. A plaque placed on the site – northeast of Reykjavik – marks this point in time. The Icelandic writer Andri Snær Magnason has worded an inscription around a question for future generations to ponder on: “We know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

The current commotion should not go to waste. We ought to put it to good use. That is what I try to do through my practice as an artist. Less than a year ago, anyone walking through central London would have come across 30 blocks of glacial ice thousands of years old. Encapsulated in its seemingly still forms were traces of remote times, turned to dust and other natural materials. Whoever touched the ice would feel its cold smooth surface, and if they put their ears close to it, they would hear the clicking sounds of its melting. They were witnessing at very close range the ecological changes we are experiencing...

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