On 16 January, the artist duo Bigert & Bergström open their exhibition The Freeze at Belenius/Nordenhake in Stockholm. The exhibition documents the artists’ rescue action to preserve the southern peak of Mount Kebnekaise, a glacier that has been continuously melting for several decades, which has now come to threaten its status as Sweden’s highest point.
A sculptural weather station with four video monitors showcases the work, from the swaddling of the mountain peak in reflective gold fabric, to the path of the melt-water as it descends into one of the world’s biggest mines deep underground. The core work of the exhibition, “Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise,” is a full-scale replica of the covered mountain peak, but split down the middle so that visitors can walk through it and discover the segmented interior of the glacier, of which only a shell remains.
In addition, there is a memorial sculpture of the southern peak as it looked in 2014, in reflective stainless steel. Alongside these sculptures, one of the artist duo’s Inverted Space Molecules – with spherical 360° panorama pictures from Kebnekaise – is presented. Also on show is a new series of photographic glass montages with material from the project of blanketing the peak.
“The rapid melting of the southern peak was front-page news in the summer of 2014,” Bigert & Bergström say. “If it continues at the same pace, the peak will no longer be Sweden’s highest point. Our intervention to prevent the glacier’s melting is a symbolic geo-engineering performance that represents humanity’s ability to change the climate for better or for worse.”
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).
Photos: Jean-Baptiste Béranger