On 16 January, the artist duo Bigert & Bergström open their exhibition The Freeze at Belenius/Nordenhake in Stockholm. The exhibtion 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 meltwater 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).