“Glacier’s Lament” by Jiabao Li


  • ©, , Glacier's Lament

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    Glacier's Lament

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    Glaciers are sentinels of climate change. They are the most visible evidence of global warming today. This series of works embodies the stunning beauty, rapid change, fragility, destructive power, and magnificence of glaciers. At the same time, they challenge the audience with the dramatic, irreversible ecological damages from climate change.

    In Glacier’s Lament, we used data from glacier melting in the past 60 years to compose music and dance with local musicians who have witnessed the recession of the Mendenhall glacier over their lifetimes in Juneau, Alaska. Each note is one season in a year. In the winter, the glacier is frozen, so the pitch is low. In the summer, the melting rate rises, so the pitch is high. Towards the end, the melting overflows into spring and autumn, and the melting in the summer becomes faster. We filmed the artists performing the piece on the glacier, collaborating with the glacier’s own sounds.

    There are four color cards in PANTONE for glacier blue. However, in real glaciers, this blue color is variable and dynamic. As glaciers are disappearing, this unique blue is also disappearing. We sampled and blended the blue color from glaciers in Alaska and hung them in recycled glass vials. When one glacier calving happened, one color vial fell down. At the end of the exhibition, all 60 vials fell down, forming a painting on the canvas beneath.


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