liquid time


Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 x 40.2 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame

Glaciers are the largest reservoirs of fresh water on Earth and an essential element of the fragile ecological balance of our biospheres. Over recent decades, however, the majority of the world’s glaciers have suffered a drastic reduction in their mass as a consequence of global climate change. Rising temperatures across the world and the consequent shrinkage of glacial ice are to be attributed to the ever more potent greenhouse effect. This development poses a calamitous threat to the world population both present and future as the progressive retreat of glaciers and the melting of glacial ice leads to globally rising sea levels, flooding, loss of habitable land and scarcity of food and drinking water. Scientists have computed that the sea level will rise from 8 to 88 cm by the year 2100. The melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the course of the 21st century would even raise the sea level by a drastic 7 m. The present clearly observable disappearance of glaciers is no longer due to natural causes but must be ascribed to anthropogenic influences – as humankind and its technologies impact the Earth’s climate.

The work “liquid time” highlights the fragility of our ecological balance and the significance of the changing state from ice to water. Glaciers are storage houses of time; layer upon layer they capture the air, water and oxygen of countless thousands of years. The picture was taken in winter 2017 in an ice cave under the Brei∂amerkurjökull glacier in Iceland, which is now retreating at an annual rate of between approximately 80 - 100 m. This singular ice cave was formed by melting glacial ice. The ice in “liquid time” has already undertaken a journey of a thousand years and now the process transforming it has set in with the first drops of water as signs of the transition from a solid to a liquid state. Glaciers have a highly delayed reaction to climatic changes; the ice world of “liquid time” simultaneously visualises the past history of the glacier and its future with the wave-like design of the motif serving as a premonition of the uptake of ice water by the sea. The transition from highly compact glacial ice to fluid sea water is irreversible; the numerous fissures and fractures signal the forthcoming transformation.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner,
with support by Marco Land

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