Olaf Breuning – Save The Climate!
17.06.17 – 18.06.18
The Verbier 3-D Foundation presents SAVE THE CLIMATE!, a new photographic work by Swiss artist Olaf Breuning currently on exhibit at an altitude of 2,300 meters in the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park.
The work was developed during an artistic residency during which Breuning was invited to reside in Verbier, Switzerland to develop new work responding to the social and glacial environment of the surrounding area in relation to climate change – a landscape that provides a fitting backdrop for commentary on the increasingly fragile relationship between humans, migration and climate concerns.
I wish this image in 2017 can motivate people to think – they look at the image and see the people with “save the climate!”, are they are partying, they have animal hats – there are many questions to think about. I hope the work has an effect on people, looking and thinking in a different way – trying to figure out what climate change means to them. I don’t give answers, I give a platform for people to think. – Olaf Breuning
The contemporary understanding of climate and glacier awareness and its global increase have clearly shown how human behaviour in one geographical region can affect life in another, how individuals can impact upon other human beings’ living conditions, how certain populations’ lifestyle affects the environment, and how changes in the natural world conversely can induce migration and societal habits.
Glaciers are on the frontline of climate change in alpine resorts like Verbier as they swell from around 4,000 residents in summer to around 40,000 visitors in winter. Occuring simultaneously, skiers and hikers bring the mountain resorts to life yet also put a strain on precious resources.
Breuning’s work SAVE THE CLIMATE! creates a platform in situ for visitors to consider the role human migration plays as a contributing factor to climate change in relation to places such as Verbier, Switzerland.
A making of the work is also on display between Ruinettes and Croix de Coeur that had been documented by local photographer Melody Sky.
This year is a continuation of a 4-year initiative launched in 2016 by the Verbier 3-D Foundation that unites artists, locals and scientists to chronicle the impact of the surrounding glacial environment in Bagnes, Switzerland. Their insights are captured in photography, sculpture and multi-media residencies, alongside research, exhibitions and public education programmes.
The Verbier 3-D Foundation aims to develop artistic practice, experimentation and dialogue around the themes of glacier warming and societal behaviours on a local level that extends outward. The exhibitions will feature new work by visual artists who in differing ways are interested in these conversations.
The residency and education programme has been developed with curators Paul Goodwin and Alexa Jeanne Kusber.
SAVE THE CLIMATE! was realized thanks to the support of the Commune de Bagnes, Musée de Bagnes, Téléverbier, Swiss Arts Council ProHelvetia, LABEL’ART Triennale 2017, TimeLine Missions, Marlenaz, W Hotel Verbier, Chalet Ker Praat, Au Vieux Verbier, Madeleine Paternot, Valérie Felix and Nicolas Combes.
About Olaf Breuning
Olaf Breuning is a multi-media artist whose works investigate kitsch, appropriation, cliché, popular culture, and hint at a collective visual iconography. Breuning’s unique mode of pastiche is eclectic by design, drawing icons from sources both high and low, Edvard Munch to Andy Warhol’s Marilyns to the Easter Bunny.
He is internationally known for his work that is humorous and often absurd, based on his observations of human experience and reflections on current cultural and political issues. Gleefully trampling traditional boundaries of artistic practice, Breuning works with photography, sculpture, installation and performance, films and drawing to realise and communicate his ideas.
Swiss, b. 1970, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, based in New York, NY and Zurich, Switzerland.