The Leopold Museum in Vienna tilted 15 of his artworks by as many degrees as the temperatures of the places depicted in the paintings could raise in protest against climate change
We are used to seeing activists smear museum works, but this time it is one of these museums that amazes us with its initiative. A museum in Vienna has indeed inclined 15 of his works of art most iconic to protest and reflect on the problem of climate change.
The aim of the Leopold Museum, located in the Austrian capital, is to make its users understand what the possible effects of climate change on the landscapes that the paintings in question depict.
The paintings will remain in this slightly tilted position until June 26 as part of an action entitled: “A few more degrees (will turn the world into an uncomfortable place)”. The play on words is easily explained: the leverage is on degrees, a term which refers both to the unit of measurement of angles and to that of temperature.
By so many degrees (celsius) the temperatures could increase, by so many degrees (of the angles) the paintings are inclined
And that’s right based on the number of degrees (celsius) of which temperatures could increase in the places that the paintings depict which is tilted in degrees (of the angles) the works of Gustave Courbet, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
In fact, these paintings depict iconic sites for art, such as the Normandy coast and the Austrian region of Attersee, which however could soon change under the actions of this increasingly pressing problem and which one cannot (and does not want to) find solution.
To arrive at determining the extent of this tilt, the museum collaborated with a climate research network based in Vienna, the Climate Change Center Austria. Museum director Hans-Peter Wipplinger said in a statement that the museums:
They preserve and pass on cultural heritage to future generations and have the potential to positively influence our future action making people aware of social phenomena.
Therefore, if their initiative succeeds in making inroads into the hearts (and minds) of some visitors, it can be said that they have hit the mark. He further added that the museum is supportive with “the efforts of the climate movement”.
Last November, activists risked damaging a Klimt painting
Singular is the fact that the Leopold Museum itself had seen the protagonist of an action (this time harmful) by some members of the Last Generation Austria group. These last November they had thrown a black, oily liquid on Klimt’s 1915 painting”Death and life”.
In addition, a demonstrator had glued himself to the glass that protected the frame of the painting. Fortunately, however, the artwork was not affected. Just then the director of the museum had called on the activists to find other ways to make their concerns known.
He had indeed argued that what they were protesting against was justified, but it was totally the wrong way to try to achieve their goals. And so now Wipplinger and his collaborators have found a better and much more convincing way to talk about climate change and shake consciences.
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