The ice melting series, 2002

Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson

Twenty c-prints 
Each: 22 x 33 cm
Overall: 103 x 189 cm
TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection
Olafur Eliasson’s engaged artistic practice is a response to social and environmental urgencies. Many of his recent works display the evidence of the climate emergency as ecological actors in their own right. Installations such as Ice Watch (2015), for which Eliasson harvested blocks of glacial ice from Greenland and brought them to Paris for the signing of the United Nations agreement on climate change, as well as to Copenhagen and London, where the ice blocks were left on the streets until they melted away, attempt to make global heating tangible. Eliasson’s series of landscape studies, often recording the transformations of Iceland’s rivers, caves, and glaciers, testify to a documentary approach where artmaking intersects with eco-critical claims.
The ice melting series consists of twenty photographs capturing ice melting on a surface of black volcanic pebbles. Arranged in a grid, each seemingly black-and-white photograph freezes a close-up view of a small fragment or membrane of ice. The series renders a cumulative sense of the terrain, the slow processes of transformation of thermic and geological activity, and the transitions from solid to liquid states. Eliasson intentionally skews the scale and selects points of view that highlight the viewer’s bodily relation to the photographic image, thereby engaging us in the process of measuring and positioning ourselves in relation to imperceptibly small occurrences that ultimately foreground our presence and complicity in the face of colossal change.


Group show: Remedios
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba
Curator: Daniela Zyman
Exhibition 14 April 2023 -  March 2024
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1967. Lives in Copenhagen and Berlin, Germany.