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Our Glacial Perspectives, Studio Olafur Eliasson’s Public Artwork On A Snow-Covered Mountain

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A permanent public work of art by Studio Olafur Eliasson has been unveiled at the summit of Mount Grawand, on the Hochjochferner glacier in the Italian Alps: ‘Our Glacial Perspectives’ is an installation designed to look like a large-scale astronomical instrument, inviting visitors to see global warming from wider perspectives.

The artwork begins with a path leading along the mountain’s glacial-carved ridge. Gates are spaced at intervals that correspond in scale to the durations of the Earth’s ice ages, thereby marking “a deep-time timeline of our planet, of ice, and of the environment,” explains a statement from the studio. At the end of the path is a pavilion made from multiple steel and glass rings that contain a circular deck looking out over the edge of Mount Grawand. Visitors can use the pavilion to align their gaze with the surrounding rings, which track the apparent path of the sun in the sky on any given day. “The artwork acts as a magnifier for the very particular experience of time and space that this location affords – vast and boundless on the one hand, local and specific on the other,” explains a statement from Eliasson. “It is an optical device that invites us to engage, from our embodied position, with planetary and glacial perspectives.”

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol Photo: David Orru. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Grawand Mountain, Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Oskar Da Riz. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Grawand Mountain, Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Oskar Da Riz. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, Our glacial perspectives (2020). Steel, colored glass. Installation view: Grawand Mountain, Hochjochferner glacier, South Tyrol. Photo: Oskar Da Riz. Commissioned by: Talking Waters Society. © 2020 Olafur Eliasson