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A Stalagmite for Sisyphus - Aljaz Celarc

Galleries C&H gallery

Tweede Kostverlorenkade 50
1053 SB Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 753 09 64

Open Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs
+ by appointment

Exhibition 15 Oct — 19 Nov

Opening 15 Oct, 17-19 hrs


Film still from In Vivo

In A Stalagmite for Sisyphus, artist and geographer Aljaž Celarc simultaneously preserves, destructs and recreates glacial ice. With two installations and an immersive video of a changing landscape, he comments on human-caused climate change and our apparent inability to act on it. While the ice slowly melts and forms again in his installations, Celarc emulates natural processes yet also contributes to their demise.

In one of his installations, Celarc attempts to authentically preserve a chunk of ice by recycling it. He made a silicone mold of an ice stalagmite from the Bossons glacier in the French Alps, and transported its water to Amsterdam. There, he refroze the water in the mold and put the new stalagmite on display in a carefully constructed showcase. Due to the ambient temperature of the gallery, the ice slowly but surely melts again. The melted water flows trough a hose and drips into a freezer, where the stalagmite is revitalized in the silicone mold. The new reproduction is then placed in the showcase for yet another cycle.

Celarc's work evokes the question if our experience of the environment is culturally constructed and mediated trough visual media. The artist: "I strongly believe that climate change is typically experienced trough the abundant visual culture. In the news and on social media, apocalyptic images of melting ice caps are presented as an overpowering force threatening humanity. This creates a passive feedback loop, because it seems like there is nothing we can do about it. So we need a different kind of representation in order to make us rethink our actions and responses."

Aljaž Celarc (Ljubljana, 1989) lives and works in Rotterdam. He holds a bachelor degree in geography from the University of Ljubljana, and a master's in photography from the AKV St. Joost. Despite being a recent graduate, his work has been exhibited internationally: from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), to the Aalto School of Art and Design in Pori (Finland), and the Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico City (Mexico). Celarc received several award and grants in his native Slovenia, in the Netherlands, and abroad.


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