Sólheimajökull is a glacier tongue in the south of the island state of Iceland in the North Atlantic. Gabriele Rothemann shot her photographs there in autumn 2019. In formal terms these black-and white images are reminiscent of the photographs taken on 19th century polar expeditions, but their focal point here is the floating drift ice - fragments, detached from the ice mass as a result of global warming, now await their dissolving fate. Indeed, Iceland’s glaciers have been particularly hard hit by climate change. In fact, the first Icelandic glacier was officially declared dead in 2019; 200 years from now, all of the country’s glaciers may well have melted. The artist has exposed her photographs onto panels of ivory, of the kind featured in miniature painting. She used mammoth ivory, from a species that went extinct thousands of years ago. As the tundra permafrost has melted, fully preserved mammoths have re-emerged, released from the ice. With Miniaturen über das Verschwinden [Miniatures about Disappearance] (2020), Gabriele Rothemann creates a connection between past and present and implies a potential future – a future in which glaciers will be as extinct as the mammoths.
"The opposite would be to say: not driven by one's own advantage and instead focus on a world that remains preserved and liveable." Gabriele Rothemann, artist
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