“90N,” a solo exhibition of works created at the North Pole in 2008

 

Xavier Cortada, “Arctic Ice Painting: 90n14,” North Pole sea ice, acrylic and mixed media on paper, 12″ x 9″, 2008

90N

an exhibition of works created
at the North Pole in 2008
by

Xavier Cortada

at

Hibiscus Gallery
Pinecrest Gardens
11000 S. Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156

 

Exhibit runs  November 15, 2018 through January 12, 2019


 

90N

In June 2008, New York Foundation for the Arts sponsored artist Xavier Cortada traveled to the North Pole, ninety degrees North (90N), to create new works and site-specific installations addressing environmental concerns.  Cortada, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic Artists and Writers Program recipient, had traveled to Antarctica during December 2006 – January 2007 to implement various site-specific temporary installations, including the “Longitudinal Installation” and “Endangered World,” to make a point where the Earth’s longitudes converged.  He also created a series of Antarctic “ice paintings” in response to what he learned from scientists he engage with in the residency.

The North Pole works included the creation of Arctic “ice paintings,” the performance of  the North Pole Dinner Party aboard a Russian icebreaker, the reinterpretation of the South Pole‘s “Longitudinal Installation” and “Endangered World” ritualistic installations at the Earth’s northernmost point, and the launch of Native Flags, a  participatory ecoart project.  Cortada created art at the extreme ends of the planet to address issues of global climate change at every point in between.

ARCTIC ICE PAINTINGS

In the summer of 2008, Cortada used Arctic ice to create a series of Ice-paintings aboard a Russian Icebreaker as it made its way back from the North Pole.

 

NATIVE FLAGS:

At a time when melting polar sea ice had many focus on which political power control the Arctic (using the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum resources beneath the sea ice), Cortada planted a green flag and reclaimed it for nature. To do so, he developed Native Flags, a participatory eco-art project that engages others in planting a green flag and native tree in their homes to prevent the polar regions from melting. Reforestation sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, helping reduce green house gases that warm the planet.  Learn more a twww.nativeflags.org

Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags | North Pole,” 2008. (http://nativeflags.org/native-flags-north-pole/)

 

 

ENDANGERED WORLD:

Cortada highlighted the need to protect our endangered species by placing the names of 360 endangered animals  in a circle around the North Pole, each aligned with longitudinal degree in which the struggle to survive in the world below. Learn more at www.endangeredworld.org

Xavier Cortada, “Endangered World | North Pole,” 2008 (http://endangeredworld.org/north-pole-about/)

 

LONGITUDINAL INSTALLATION:

As he did in the South Pole, Mr. Cortada placed 24 shoes in a circle around the North Pole, each shoe representing a person living in a different part of the world affected by climate change. Afterwards, he approached each shoe and recited a statement from each person about the impact of global climate change in their lives.  Learn more at www.longitudinalinstallation.org 

Xavier Cortada, “Longitudinal Installation | North Pole,” 2008. (http://longitudinalinstallation.org/north-pole-installation/)

 

Xavier Cortada, Ice Plate, North Pole Dinner Party (Miami): 90N6 , Sea Ice from the Geographic North Pole, pigment and glaze on ceramic plate, 2008

NORTH POLE DINNER PARTY

On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole to create ritualistic installations addressing global climate change and the melting polar caps.  One of Cortada’s performances included a ritual where he fed his fellow travelers pieces of ice collected at the North Pole, thereby integrating the North Pole into their very being.

“I figured that if they ingested a piece of the North Pole, it would become part of them.” said Cortada. “The North Pole water molecules would be swirling through their bodies.  The North Pole atoms would be incorporated into their very cells.  My sense was that after having North Pole communion, they would protect the North Pole.  If nothing else, they would do so for self-preservation.”

 

North Pole Dinner Party/Miami 2008: The Green Project | Claire Oliver Gallery

 

Xavier Cortada performance of North Pole Dinner Party at the Bakehouse Art Complex on August 14, 2015. (Photo by Laurie Fink)

Xavier Cortada, Ice Plate, North Pole Dinner Party (Miami): 90N_ , Sea Ice from the Geographic North Pole, pigment and glaze on ceramic plate, 2008

Group exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum

VANISHING ICE: ALPINE AND POLAR LANDSCAPES IN ART 1775-2012

Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota
January 27th, 2018 – May 13th, 2018

astridXavier Cortada, “astrid,” (2007). Permanent collection of the Whatcom Museum.

Xavier Cortada’s “Astrid” painting will be on exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, MN from January 27th through May 13th, 2018 as part of the “Vanishing Ice” exhibit curated by Barbara Matilsky — see http://www.vanishing-ice.org.  You can learn more about Cortada’s piece by reading the American Art essay by Alan Braddock and Renée Ater, Art in the Anthropocene — see http://cortada.com/press/2014/AmericanArt.

Cortada, recipient of a 2006-2007 National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers fellowship, traveled to Antarctica to implement a series of projects and installations. While there, the Miami artist created “ice paintings” using sea ice and sediment samples provided to him by scientists working in Antarctica.  The artist titled the works on paper by randomly selecting the names of geographic features from a map of the continent that inspired their creation.  To learn more about the series visit http://cortada.com/2007/ice-paintings.

astrid-s

Artist: Xavier Cortada
Title: “astrid”
Series: Ice Paintings: Antarctic Sea Ice series
Medium: Sea ice from the Antarctica’s Ross Sea, sediment from Antarctica’s Dry Valleys and mixed media on paper
Size: 12 inches x 9 inches
Year: 2007
Created onsite at McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica
Permanent collection of the Whatcom Museum.

Curatorial Narrative
Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art

VANISHING ICE will introduce the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by climate change, a phenomena understood by the public primarily through news of devastating climactic events The exhibition offers another perspective by providing visitors an opportunity to experience the majesty of sublime landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years. Interweaving science, history and art, and highlighting their historical interrelationships, the exhibition encourages audiences to value the preservation of alpine and polar environments for the well-being of both nature and culture. Through this exhibition, visitors will begin to appreciate how strongly embedded these regions are in our collective consciousness

Comprised of 70 works of art, Vanishing Ice will unfold thematically and chronologically, tracing the visual impact of glaciers, icebergs, and fields of ice – unique and often fantastic formations – on artists’ imaginations. International in scope, the exhibition features artists from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States. It will examine the connections among generations of artists as they sought to understand and interpret the color, light, and structure of ice. Through their magical landscapes, visitors will vicariously experience the blue-green hues and extraordinary shapes of another world.

The confluence of art, science and public education is one of the major themes of the exhibition. In their quest to discover new pictorial motifs, the artist-as-explorer contributed to a greater understanding of the Earth. In the wake of the large number of voyages launched during the nineteenth century, images of alpine and polar landscapes helped popularize revolutionary scientific discoveries and theories in natural history, including the concept of an Ice Age concomitant with a vision of the planet’s ancient origins. Works of art by artists such as Jean-Antoine Linck (Swiss, 1766-1843) and Louis Lebreton (French, 1818–1866) appeared in scientific publications, expeditionary atlases, travelogues, popular magazines, and exhibitions. Today, these early landscapes continue to play a major role in science by helping climatologists measure the retreat of glaciers over the centuries.

A growing number of artists are once again journeying to alpine mountain ranges and the Poles, the most salient indicators of climate change, to document the effects of global warming. The fate of retreating glaciers have been presented by many photographers, including Gary Braasch, David Breashears, and Eirik Johnson who compare their views of the Rocky Mountains, Himalayas, and Andes with historical photographs, which will also be highlighted in the exhibition. Parallel to the nineteenth-century artists’ close relationship to natural history, their images appear in a wide range of venues, including books and exhibitions, helping to visualize the dramatic effects forecast by climate scientists.

Like their nineteenth and early-twentieth century counterparts, many artists are joining government-sponsored expeditions. The US National Science Foundation provides opportunities for artists as diverse as Eliot Porter and Camille Seaman to spend time in Antarctica as a way to increase awareness of polar research. Many artists, in the spirit of Frederic Edwin Church and William Bradford, have organized their own expeditions. Since 2007, artist David Buckland has been coordinating Arctic explorations composed of artists, scientists, musicians, and writers through the Cape Farewell Project, underscoring the expanded role of the artist-activist in publicizing climate change. Seventy artists have participated to date, including Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky, whose work will also be featured in the exhibition along with video documentation of Cape Farewell’s inaugural expedition.

Vanishing Ice also examines the stylistic evolution of alpine and polar imagery over two centuries. Within this context, the exhibition will feature the wide array of materials, media, and techniques that artists have employed to vividly capture the frozen landscape. Initially limited to drawings, prints, paintings and later photography, artists now utilize video, sound, and site-specific sculpture to interpret these environments. Among the fifty internationally recognized historical and contemporary artists included are: Ansel Adams, Otto Olaf Becker, John Grade, Lauren Harris, Frank Hurley, Issac Julien, Rockwell Kent, Alexis Rockman, and Spencer Tunick.

Vanishing Ice will reveal the transformative power of art in shaping the public’s perception of these starkly beautiful environments. Beginning in the eighteenth century, writers and painters, such as Francois-August Biard (French, 1799–1882), and Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900) contributed to a new appreciation of alpine and polar landscapes, which were once regarded with fear and now experienced on a heightened, emotional level. This quality, described as the Sublime, intersected with spirituality and was one of the defining aspects of a culture in the throes of rapid industrialization. Polar ice and glaciated mountains became metaphors for both the control of nature and correspondingly lack of control, freedom, nationalism, and more recently climate change.

While showcasing the art, Vanishing Ice will present layers of information through illustrated text panels, graphs, maps and a multi-disciplinary time line featuring milestones in art, literature, science, exploration, and mountaineering, which will help visitors grasp the history of alpine and polar regions and their significance for Western culture. An introductory video, produced by the City of Bellingham’s TV10, will be aired in the gallery and broadcast on the cable channel. Quotes by artists, scientists, writers, and explorers will be strategically placed throughout the galleries to augment the key ideas and messages of the exhibition. The exhibition will feature interpretive graphics for understanding why the Arctic, Antarctica, and glaciers are so critical for maintaining a balanced, planetary ecosystem and suggest what individuals and communities can do to help mitigate global warming.

Additional components of the exhibition include: a 162-page catalogue, published by the University of Washington Press and a web site.

See http://www.whatcommuseum.org/galleries/upcoming/379-vanishing-ice

North Pole Dinner Party

On June 29th, 2008, I arrived at the North Pole to create ritualistic installations addressing global climate change and the melting polar caps. One of my performances included a ritual where I fed my fellow icebreaker travelers pieces of ice collected at the North Pole, thereby integrating the North Pole into their very being.

I figured that if they ingested a piece of the North Pole, it would become part of them.  The North Pole water molecules would be swirling through their bodies.  The North Pole atoms would be incorporated into their very cells.  My sense was that after having North Pole communion, they would protect the North Pole.  If nothing else, they would do so for self-preservation.

Xavier Cortada

 

North Pole Dinner Party/Miami 2008: The Green Project | Claire Oliver Gallery

NorthPoleDinnerPartyAbove: North Pole Dinner Party (Miami Performance, 2008)

On December 3rd, 2008, North Pole Dinner Party participants ingested ice made with water Cortada brought from this trip. This North Pole dinner took place in Miami on ceramic plates the artist made using the melted polar ice.

Artist:
Xavier Cortada

Title of Artwork:
Ice Plate, North Pole Dinner Party (Miami)

Medium:
Sea Ice from the Geographic North Pole, pigment and glaze on ceramic plate

Year:
2008

Miami 2015: Bakehouse Art Complex

Xavier Cortada performance of North Pole Dinner Party at the Bakehouse Art Complex on August 14, 2015. (Photo by Laurie Fink)

 

On August 14th, 2015, North Pole Dinner Party participants ingested ice made with water Cortada brought from his North Pole trip. This North Pole dinner took place in Miami using the same ceramic plates the artist made for the 2oo8 performance.

 

North Pole 2008:

In 2008, Cortada performed the Longitudinal Installation, Endangered World and Native Flags at 90 degrees North.

Cortada at North Pole in 2008