- Arts and Design
Melting Men in Berlin
Have you seen these men?
They have been to Brazil, France, Italy, Cuba and Germany.
They sit in public places (in their their hundreds).
They then melt. They slowly dissolve before the viewers eyes in 30-40 minutes.
Who are these men and what are they trying to say?
They were last spotted in Berlin. - September 3, 2009
1000 men sat on the steps of the central Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin Germany. Their heads down, feet crossed and slightly slouched, they looked lonely and sad. They slowly evaporated into thin air in front of the large crowds eyes.
Temperatures in Berlin were about 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius).
Where did they come from?
Nele Azevedo - The woman responsible.
This Brazilian artist has been making her "melting men" since 2005 as part of the Minimum Monument project. She is an artist, master of visual arts from the University of Sao Paulo (UNESP). Although the statues were originally made as part of an urban intervention project against conventional monuments, they quickly caught environmentalists attention. The traveling "melting men" were adopted as climate change activism art.
Although this wasn't the artist's original intention she said in an interview "As the reading and interpretation of an art piece is open, I'm glad it can also speak of urgent matters that threaten our existence on this planet."
They leave quite an impression. - There's nothing quite like it.
These men draw quite a few people. Its something like no other--watching 1000 ice figures slowly melt away in the sun. The statues bend into different shapes, break apart and leave puddles behind.
Its an exciting process to be part of. It brings emotion and raises questions about our being. Watching the beautifully crafted sculptures melt away and dissolve into nothingness is... bizarre.
As an art major these travelling monuments remind me of famous modern artists who focus on a person's loneliness and insignificance in the modern world. However since this is environmental art (Where the main idea is to spread a message) it is more important to shock and surprise the viewer for a lasting impression.
'melting men' brings awareness to the
world wildlife fund's warning, that melting ice could cause sea-levels to rise more than
3.3 ft by 2100.
1000 ice men in Berlin - They are spreading the message.
(Not so) Fun Facts about Global Warming
- As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes. We saw in this in 2004 and 2005.
- The warmest year on record was 2005.  If things keep going like this, your children and grandchildren will inherit a world with a far less hospitable climate.
- There are 16 million new cars on the road each year (a big cause for global warming)
- 34% -- Percentage that 2008's Arctic seasonal sea ice melt outpaced normal levels.
- A 2005 survey of 442 glaciers from the World Glacier Monitoring Service found that 90% of the world's glaciers are shrinking as the planet warms.