Thinning Ice/ Jeanne Gang and Swarovski
This year, Swarovski has commissioned architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, who is creating an immersive experience in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker and nature photographer James Balog. Titled Thinning Ice, the spectacular installation draws attention to the melting polar ice cap. The installation is emblematic of Swarovski’s environmental stewardship and its longstanding international initiatives aimed at water conservation and preservation. The crystal house recently embarked on a joint project with Balog to photographically document the shrinking of the Stubai glacier in the Austrian Alps over a three year period as a contribution to Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey. Like Swarovski and Balog, Gang aims to bring to the fore pressing environmental issues, including the melting polar ice cap, through her work. An installation of “frozen” Swarovski crystal suggests the rapid degradation of the world’s glaciers by creating the illusion of melting ice. A smooth, glacier-like table positioned at the center of the space will be punctured with voids descending into the surface’s depths, evoking the meltwater thaw holes and crystalline patterns of thinning ice. Balog’s striking photography and video footage of the world’s glaciers will wrap the walls of installation, creating a space in which visitors can reflect on and discuss the forms and implications of receding ice sheets.