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March 20, 2024

Growing Glaciers? Exhibition “walking on rolling stones” at First Klima Biennale Wien

Exhibition at first Klima Biennale Wien

International artists have been working with scientists from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) in Klosterneuburg on glaciers in a changing climate. The results – sculptures, models and photographs that vividly address current research findings – can be seen from April 5 at the rauminhalt gallery in Vienna under the title “walking on rolling stones”. The exhibition is part of the first Klima Biennale Wien. From March 21, a partner exhibition at the FOTO ARSENAL WIEN will focus on the melting of pack ice.

Data directly from the field: researchers strategically place equipment and sensors on the debris-covered glacier. © Eduardo Soteras, 2013

Self-preserving or even growing glaciers – this is not fiction, but reality in a few places on the globe. So can we hope? At the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) in Klosterneuburg, scientists led by Professor Francesca Pellicciotti are researching special glaciers that still seem to be defying global warming. On closer inspection, however, there is no reason to give the all-clear. This area of tension has now also been artistically processed.

walking on rolling stones

On the occasion of the first Vienna Climate Biennale, ISTA is taking the opportunity to give the field of glacier and hydrosphere research a stage and to thematize its research results in collaboration with artists. From April 5 to May 18, the exhibition walking on rolling stones can be seen at the Gallerie rauminhalt in Vienna’s fourth district. The collaboration is another building block in ISTA’s efforts to promote exchange between science, art, design and technology.

Curator Mia Meus from ISTA explains the delicate relationship of the exhibition: “With the artists Céline Ducret, Martin Heynen and Patrick Hari, the Institute deals with our complex feelings in times of uncertainty and tells us what it means to measure new realities step by step while the world changes under our feet.”

Golden Disc by Martin Heynen. A USB stick with all the publications of the glacier researchers will become part of a sculpture. © Martin Heynen, 2024

In doing so, the artists encounter stories of computer models, remote sensing devices, abstractions, hope, defiance and trust – across multiple research institutions and even continents. The displays are supported by photographs by Jason Klimatsas and Eduardo Soteras who accompanied the research group on their travels and during many breathtaking moments. Harald Bichler, founder of Galerie rauminhalt, is delighted to be able to present the exhibition in his gallery as part of the Vienna Climate Biennale: “We particularly like to exhibit works that transcend the conventional boundaries between art and science. Where disciplines intersect, opportunities arise to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world. In relation to climate change, such an understanding is all the more important.”

From a Tongue We Are Losing

If you don’t want to wait until April 4, a partner exhibition is already opening this week at the FOTO ARSENAL VIENNA. “From a Tongue We Are Losing” by artist Laure Winants deals with the melting of the pack ice from March 22 to June 23, 2024.

In cooperation with the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), a talk on ice landscapes, water resources and collaborations between art and science will take place on March 21 from 7 pm. The panelists are Felix Hoffmann, Artistic Director FOTO ARSENAL WIEN and FOTO WIEN, Francesca Pellicciotti, Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Lena Schilling, climate activist and top candidate of the Austrian Green Party for the 2024 European elections, and Claudius Schulze, Artistic Director Klima Biennale Wien. Free admission, no registration required.

On May 14, both exhibitions will be linked as part of a Dialog Tour: Glacier researcher Catriona Fyffe from ISTA and the curators will first guide visitors through the exhibition “From a Tongue We Are Losing”, and then through “walking on rolling stones”.


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