The Natural History Museum, Vienna was premier venue for MELTDOWN, an exhibition created by the climate change charity Project Pressure. The show is still travelling to museums world-wide.
In 2008, Klaus Thymann founded Project Pressure, a global environmental charity dedicated to highlight the impact of climate change, inspiring action and participation.
Project Pressure visualizes the climate crisis by using art as a positive touchpoint to inspire action and behavioural change. Glacier retreat was the first focus of our visualizations because glacier mass loss can be directly attributed to global temperature changes making it a key indicator of climate change. Glaciers provide water for billions of people and their crops, so the loss is not just a natural disaster, but the beginning of a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable scale. The works include a selection of these vital human stories.
Since 2008, Thymann has conducted more than 20 expeditions to create scientifically accurate art works and commissioned 15 artists to create unique works for MELTDOWN. The collection represents every relevant continent of the planet and leads the viewer on a journey in three chapters.
The first section, The Importance of Glaciers, provides an introduction to the subject. We learn how year-on-year comparative images illustrate glacier mass loss and the impact of climate change.
In the second section, Current Issues, MELTDOWN looks at various urgent subjects including the fact that more than a billion people depend on water runoff from the Himalayan mountains for irrigation, hydropower and drinking water. We also learn how the borders within Europe are being redrawn by glacier recession.
Climate change can no longer be avoided. It is happening already and the world and humanity will have to adapt. In the final section, Meltdown Consequences, MELTDOWN looks at the well-known facts, but also surprises viewers by visualizing the consequences of climate change, which go well beyond sea level rise.
The exhibition is a narrative of the importance of glaciers told in a scientific, illustrative and poetic way. Each artist has a unique take on the subject. MELTDOWN shows scale from the planetary level to microscopic biological impact, and considers humanitarian suffering and more. Together, the artistic interpretations in MELTDOWN give visitors unique insights into the world’s cryosphere, its fragile ecosystem and our changing global climate.
The works included by Thymann are from areas not previously or widely documented because of the difficulty in getting there, either because of conflict, altitude or other enormous logistical challenges. MELTDOWN features his works from Iran, the Rwenzori Mountains – the conflict zone bordering Uganda and Congo DRC, unnamed glaciers in Nepal and more.