PLUNGE, which will be presented for 26 days from February 7th 2012, invites Londoners to look up and look forward 1000 years to the dawn of the next millennium, to the year 3012, when the effects of runaway climate change will have completely changed the look of the bustling capital city we know and love.
PLUNGE illustrates how sea level will have climbed by then, should we fail to heed the threat of global warming. Up will surge the water, as the glaciers melt and the temperatures rise, triggering thermal expansion of the oceans, on and on to a staggering 28 metres (90 feet) above its current height, submerging landmarks, eroding history and drowning this greatest of cities.
A nightmare vision? A concept too catastrophic to contemplate? But look again and witness a thing of beauty too: an elegant, mystical creation coming gleamingly alive as twilight merges day into night. PLUNGE is a work of art for London full of magic and meaning.
Michael Pinksy is an artist used to working on a grand scale and PLUNGE is no exception. His rings of blue fire, set at precisely 28 metres above sea level, will be visible on familiar icons across London, including the column at Paternoster Square adjoining St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Stock Exchange, the Seven Dials Sundial pillar in the heart of Covent Garden’s theatre district, and Duke of York’s column overlooking the elegance of St James’s Park and the grandeur of the Mall, just yards from Buckingham Palace.
28 metres is the level, backed by the latest scientific evidence, at which Central London would be clearly and visibly different, including the partial submersion of some of the city’s most historic and iconic monuments and buildings.
PLUNGE is presented by Artsadmin + LIFT
Mark Ball, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of LIFT said: ‘Our ambition for this commission was to create a major public artwork for London that tackled the subject of climate change. At LIFT we firmly believe that artists have the power to make us stop and look again at the world around us, and Michael Pinsky’s vision of a future flooded London does this with a simple and elegant beauty.’
Judith Knight, Director of Artsadmin is in no doubt of Plunge’s uniqueness: ‘Climate change can seem like a far off problem that doesn’t affect us, but already parts of the world are suffering the effects of rising sea levels. Plunge is an extreme illustration of what the future might hold but its message is simple – we need to take action against climate change now.’
Dr Michael Pinsky is a renowned British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces. He has undertaken many residencies that explore issues which shape and influence the use of our public realm and combines the roles of researcher, urban planner, activist, concerned London resident and artist. Through video, performance, mapping and programming, Pinsky responds site-specifically to physical and sociological space, frequently to highly dramatic effect.
He has exhibited extensively in galleries and festivals including TATE Britain, the Saatchi Gallery, the ICA, London; BALTIC, Gateshead; Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Modern Art Oxford, Liverpool Biennial, Archilab, Orleans; CCC, Tours; France, Armory Centre of the Arts, Los Angeles and the Rotterdam International Architectural Biennial.
LIFT – LONDON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THEATRE
Above all, LIFT is proud to be in and of London. No other organisation or festival brings theatre to so many diverse, quirky and accessible places and spaces across our city. There’s a sense of discovery in all LIFT’s work and it’s our intention to give members of the public the chance to see the world through the eyes of others, both artists and ordinary people, and to experience art on their own terms. Every performance or event staged intends to be a personal experience that will mean something unique and real to each and every individual lucky enough to witness it.
Artsadmin is a unique producing and presenting organisation for contemporary artists working across the spectrum of theatre, visual arts, dance, live art and performance, producing, supporting and promoting arts projects locally, nationally and internationally. At Toynbee Studios in East London, Artsadmin has developed a creative environment for artists and arts professionals, with a theatre, five rehearsal spaces, offices and studio spaces and the Arts Bar and Cafe. Through presenting projects that cross the line between art and activism for the Two Degrees festival, and commissioning other one-off projects like PLUNGE, Artsadmin hopes to influence participants and a wide audience into engaging further with the subject of climate change.