The Freeze, 2016

The project The Freeze revolves around a geo-engineering performance on top of the highest mountain peak in Sweden. In the past few decades, the south peak, mainly consisting of a glacier, has been melting more than 25 meters due to a warmer climate, and the rocky north peak threatens to take over as the highest point in Sweden. By the end of summer 2014, the south peak was measured at 2097.5 m – just 0.7 meters higher that the rocky north peak. During July and August up to 100 people climbs the south peak every day and the question is what will happen if they aim for the north peak instead? Reaching the north peak is much more difficult and will probably result in serious climbing accidents.

As a counteraction to this negative development, a 500 sq. m golden climate shade cloth was deployed on the mountain’s south peak on the evening of summer solstice, 2015. The performance was inspired by the attempts to halt the melting of the Rhone glacier, where every summer, large areas are covered with reflective cloth. This method can save up to three meters of glacial ice each summer season.

Seen against this, and the majestic back drop of the snow covered mountain chain, the golden rescue blanket for Kebnekaise looks like a futile symbolic gesture. But at the yearly measurement of the peak in August 2015, it measured 2097.8. Weather these 30 cm extra glacial ice was added because of the rescue blanket being placed there during the hot summer month, is of course difficult to answer.

The material collected during the geo-engineering performance was later developed into an installation called The Freeze. The rescue blanket covered a full scale sculptural replica of the peak, but split down the middle so that visitors could walk through it and discover the segmented interior of the glacier. Adjacent to this decapitated mountain peak, the performance was presented as a 4-channel video sculpture/weather station. Other works in the project included: a memorial sculpture in reflective stainless steel of the southern peak height at the measurement in August 2014,; an Inverted Space Molecule with spherical 360° panorama pictures from the tip of Kebnekaise down to the mine in Kiruna; an appropriated Sunshine Recorder displaying the burned trace from the sun on the evening of the performance; and a series of photographic glass montages from the project of blanketing the peak.

The Freeze is the third in a series of exhibitions in which Bigert & Bergström investigate mankind’s desire to control the climate, the weather and their own living conditions through geo-engineering. Previous exhibitions in the series include The Storm (2012) and The Drought (2013).

Download a pdf of The Freeze field-guide here.

Exhibited at:
Belenius/Nordenhake, Stockholm, 16 January–14 February 2016

 

Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise
Geo-engineering performance
on Sweden’s highest mountain peak
500 sqm climate screen shade cloth
Summer solstice, 2015

 

Images

Films

Texts

4 channel video, HD, 2-17 min. loops
LED-screens, HD video players,
cord, cable, steel, concrete
80 x 320 x 80 cm
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise
Climate screen shade cloth, styrofoam, jesmonite,
steel frame, paraffin, nylon strings, birch wood sticks
670 x 330 x 180 cm
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise
Close-up of "glacier"
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger
Bigert & Bergström 2016
70 cm from not being the highest point in Sweden
Kebnekaise, 2097,5 m, measured on 27 Aug, 2014
Mirror polished stainless steel
210 x 110 x 70 cm
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise
UV-printed photo on vinyl foil,
acrylic spheres, low energy lights
110 x 135 x 35 cm
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise
UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminum
160 x 110 x 6 cm
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Rescue Party
UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminum
75 x 50 x 6 cm
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Close-up of climate screen shade cloth
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger
Bigert & Bergström 2016
Sun Recorder With burnt trace from the sun's
trajectory on the sky
23 June, 2015

Contact

Studio Bigert & Bergström

Address:
Västmannagatan 73
113 26 Stockholm
Sweden

Email:
post@bigertbergstrom.com

Mats Bigert
Phone:
+46 708 57 86 52
Email:
bigert@bigertbergstrom.com

Lars Bergström
Phone:
+46 708 57 86 53
Email:
bergstrom@bigertbergstrom.com

Represented by:
Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm

Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin
Cis Art Lodgers, Barcelona

 

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