The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 20, 2014


Iceberg with Dutch Artist Ap Verheggen Artworks Breaks Loose
Satellite images show that the iceberg on which Verheggen placed his sculptures in March have started to move.
THE HAGUE.- The big moment for the sculptures of Dutch artist Ap Verheggen has come. The iceberg in Greenland on which he placed his artwork “Dog Sled Riders” back in March has broken loose. The uncertain journey can be followed on the website www.coolemotion.org, via GPS, photos, and video.

Satellite images show that the iceberg on which Verheggen placed his sculptures in March have started to move. It drifts away from the island of Uummannaq with an unknown destination. In the end, the iceberg melts and the sculptures will go down. When this will happen, no one knows.

The sculptures are a symbol for the forced changes in culture of the Inuit as a result of extreme climate change. The inhabitants are looking for a new way of living to maintain their ‘own’ identity. Verheggen wants to draw attention to the cultural consequences of the fast changing climate in the Arctic. “Climate change=Culture change” is his motto.

The melting of the ice threatens the ancient culture of the Inuit. The inhabitants of Uummannaq, a tiny island in the Northwest of Greenland, are still dependant on hunting with dog sleds for their food provision. Last winter, for the first time, hunting was not possible which is directly threatening their existence.

During hunting the dog sled rider determines when the journey starts, where it heads and when it’s over. Verheggen plays with this idea as he puts two abstract sculptures, representing dog sled riders, on an iceberg and lets nature decide how the journey will proceed. The goal of the artist is to show that we should stop ‘blaming, naming and shaming’. Verheggen: “We have to put our energy in solutions. Climate change cannot be stopped. The climate always changes and will keep on changing, these are dynamic processes. Our culture always adapted to these changes, but now we are discussing the causes without looking at the future.”

With this art project Verheggen tries to make people look at the concept of climate change in another way: “The people of Uummannaq are now forced to change their culture due to the changing climate. One day it will be our turn. Will we manage?”

Ap Verheggen | Iceberg in Greenland | "Climate change=Culture change" |


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