Climate change is on everyone’s minds. That’s especially true for the 4 million people who live in the Arctic, where the consequences of a warming planet are immediate and dire. Now until late 2021, an exhibition in the great hall of the Nordic Museum in Stockholm tells the story of the region’s peoples through an environmental lens. “The Arctic—While the Ice Is Melting,” designed by exhibition veterans and Museea co-founders Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov, takes inspiration from the large fissures that form in the ice pack as it melts.
“Cracks have a symbolic meaning,” Hedman explains. “With the climate crisis, they arise within nature, traditions, and generations.”
The exhibition is contained in a massive 22,000-square-foot timber-and-plywood “ice block” covered with a reusable textile of recycled PET and linen. Objects, artworks, and information about life on the ice are accessed through a jagged crevasse. Look up and the great hall’s glass skylights 75 feet above are visible, juxtaposed against a constellation of fiber-optic lights representing the Arctic night.
“We had to work with this imposing building,” Martynov says, “not against it.”
“Cracks in the ice make humans seem so small,” Hedman adds. “We want visitors to leave with a sense of urgency to tackle this crisis.” Perhaps that’s the perspective we need.