|Nele Azevedo, Melting Men, installation photograph from Berlin, Germany, 2009.|
Main Street Meltdown took place in New York in front of the Supreme Court building next to Wall Street on October 29, 2008, seventy-nine years after the infamous stock market crash beginning the Great Depression. Ligorano/Reese sculpted individual letters out of ice blocks spelling “ECONOMY” and left them outside for twenty-four hours until the “economy” was literally melted. This temporary ice sculpture monument was the fourth piece in a larger series consisting of works that deal with political issues.
|Ligorano/Reese, Main Street Meltdown, Installation photograph in New York, 2008.|
|Mark Coreth and Duncan Hamilton, Ice Bear, Installation photograph in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009.|
For an installation time lapse video of Ice Bear in Copenhagen click here
These three ice sculptures have deep conceptual social issue meanings, but are done in a way that they can still be enjoyed as ordinary ice sculptures. Many traditional ice sculpture characteristics are still present in these contemporary art examples. Marshall Reese, one of the artists of Main Street Meltdown, explains the relationship ice sculpture have with viewers:
What we like about these sculptures is that they are very popular in the best sense of the world, people love to touch them, but in the shape of a work, to see them meltdown and vanish, they take on a completely different meaning.These pieces certainly make a dramatic statement but in a more complex way than just the centerpiece of a special event. All three of these pieces begin as a solid ice sculpture, but they melt into specific points regarding social issues. Through this, they demonstrate the terrifying results of not addressing these problems. The ice is important to these sculptures because they are, by nature, temporary monuments that relate to an issue of limited time to deal with these problems. These ice sculptures are made with a specific agenda: to educate and demonstrate contemporary problems in our society through the use of art.