The Arctic in the Anthropocene

Entire ASSW 2023 I Location: Else Richter Saal

Mankind has been shaping its environment for millennia in order to wrest its livelihood from nature. The perception of nature has changed in our civilization history from one that threatens life to one that subordinates and destroys. In the Anthropocene, we experience the Arctic as one of the few remaining large-scale regions of pristine nature, but increasingly also as a gathering place for civilizational plastic waste and industrial exploitation of resources, further fuelling a fatal feedback mechanism. The exhibition artists have felt connected to the Arctic for decades and aim to stimulate a metaphysical connection to the Arctic as a natural space. The images of the cryosphere also portray the Earth's evolution -genesis. Since time immemorial, landscape has been shaped by cryogenesis with forces such as wind, water, ice, and snow. The observers’ eyes shall be sharpened for the fragility of the Arctic and ears opened for a tribute to the beauty of frozen landscapes, commemorating also the discovery of Franz-Josef-Land by the Austro-Hungarian polar explorers Julius Payer and Carl Weyprecht exactly 150 years ago. In a sense, the portraits of Frozen Morphs make the imperishable in the ephemeral visible, adding a spiritual dimension to the scientific commitment of the Arctic Science Summit Week. Thus, the step from physics to metaphysics becomes smaller and leads to more awareness of the universality of life. Nature does not need to be given an economic value defined by humans in order to have a right to exist. Moments of absolute closeness to nature and the feeling of oneness with nature can bring us closer to the truth than natural science alone would be able to do. Then there is only the Now and undivided devotion to it. "Melt the ice in your hearts. Start smiling and praying so that our children may see many, many more springs across the land!" calls the Greenlandic shaman Angaangaq to the world.

Organiser: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Media Officer Austrian Polar Research Institute)

Artists (alphabetically by first name):