March 23, 2021 - Artist and architect Olafur Eliasson in conversation with Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities and Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, Harvard University
HUCE welcomes artist and architect Olafur Eliasson to discuss his two decades of work on climate change themes with Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities and Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, Harvard University. Eliasson creates sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature in an attempt to make the idea of climate change a tangible experience that people can see and feel.
In 2014, Eliasson created “Ice Watch,” a project that involved working with the geologist Minik Rosing and transporting 12 glacial ice blocks from outside Greenland to the center of Copenhagen. Timed for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, Eliasson again brought 12 glacial ice blocks to Paris for a second rendition of the artwork. The “sculptures” were arranged in a circle to symbolize how little time we have to act on climate change. Eliasson wanted spectators to touch the shrinking ice and ask themselves: “What does climate change actually mean physically?”
Eliasson’s commentary on climate change dates back to his ground-breaking 2003 exhibition at London’s Tate Modern. "The weather project” an atmospheric installation that bathed the museum’s Turbine Hall in amber light, drew more than a million visitors during its five-month run.
More recently, Eliasson completed a 20-year project called “The glacier melt series 1999/2019” which looks at glaciers in Iceland in 1999 compared with 2019. Appointed a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador in 2019, Eliasson speaks about the immediate and longer-term affects of climate change on our ecosystems.