29 June / Art Exhibition Series: Watching the Glacier Disappear

This summer, throughout Switzerland, you can attend the curated observation of the ongoing phenomenon of glaciers melting. Art installations, performances and exhibitions, scattered about the Alpine landscape, are informed by this exclusive moment in climate history that will forever change our landscapes. The melting progresses with the proportion of the loss of albedo surface. Although this seemingly slow-evolving process is known to all of us, it provokes a challenge to face the fact that future generations will not see the same landscape without too much sentiment. Rather, the organizers propose a creative response to it, gatherings, and even cultural event tourism

Artists are triggered by historical perspectives, creating research-and-data-driven projects or applying to more poetic outlets. 

They invite us to wander through melting landscapes, as pilgrims saying our farewells in a processional way. This year’s exhibitions are a continuation of a project started in 2019 by Swiss artist Carmen Perrin, who observed the changes from previous encounters with the Rhone glacier. 

What is intriguing is the landscape is the exhibition we cannot capture, it is spatially decentralized and connects numerous artists and institutions. 

The exhibition opens on the 29th of June and is open until the 29th of September.


Project Description

Glaciers are melting. Switzerland’s natural and cultural landscape is disappearing. Throughout the summer of 2024, an exhibition will answer the questions raised by this change. It focuses on art and its power to reveal. Museums and cultural institutions are relaying the event, which is taking place indoors and outdoors across Switzerland. When the horizon disintegrates, artists erect their works, sometimes right into the heart of the glaciers.

1. Glaciers melting through the eyes of artists

During the summer of 2024, Regarder le glacier s’en aller, a vast art exhibition open to all publics, will take place outdoors and indoors in all regions of Switzerland, from Geneva to Grisons and from Valais to Zurich. It involves a large number of museums and cultural institutions throughout the country. It brings together artists of all disciplines, past and present. It invites us to face up to the reality of the change that is already affecting Switzerland’s natural and cultural landscape: the melting of the glaciers. And it invites us to consider it through the eyes of artists.

Large-scale upheavals, whether abrupt or slow, have occurred throughout the earth’s long history. If the disappearance of the glaciers, announced as ineluctable and now perceptible at sight, is disturbing and worrying, it’s because it’s part of our own human duration, because it underlines our own finitude.
Hence the major upheaval, anguish and mobilization caused by the loss of a landscape that has shaped sensibilities and mentalities, and is consubstantial with this country’s heritage.

The exhibition Regarder le glacier s’en aller adopts a different point of view, that of the artists. It proposes to take note of this disappearance and to accompany it. It invites us to gain an intimate understanding of the processes u n d e r w a y , through the eyes of those who, through the ages and in a variety of ways, have expressed the complicated, profound and rich bond that binds human beings to their environment.

The aim of the exhibition is to return to the way artists of the past looked at things, to stimulate contemporary expression, and to reveal the variety of languages used by today’s artists to express their perception of change.

Watching the glacier go away relies on art to speak the truth without alarm, to get closer to it without despair, and to look it in the face.

2. A glacier covered in tarpaulins, an exhibition across Switzerland

The exhibition Regarder le glacier s’en aller will run from June 29 to September 29, 2024 throughout Switzerland, wherever glaciers (still) exist. Real glaciers with 1900 hotels at their feet, built to attract Alpine tourism, as well as representations of glaciers hanging in museums.

What makes it special is its federative, decentralized nature. It is hosted by twenty-five partner institutions – fourteen museums, six hotels, three foundations, two biennials and an artists’ association – all united around the highly topical theme of melting glaciers. The double advantage of this decentralization is that it avoids the need to move works of art around, and encourages the networking of museums and institutions collaborating on the same theme.





Published on June 20, 2024

One thought on "29 June / Art Exhibition Series: Watching the Glacier Disappear"

  1. Hello – I am super interested in your work and exhibition. I am a poet in the UK who has recently had a chapbook published titled: End of the Glacier. The poems respond to the glacier paintings of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. I was wondering if there might be any way of us joining forces, or if there are future events that could include poetry and a poet? Many thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Alyson

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