Date:  15 December 2012 16:00 - 10 February 2013 17:00

Breaking the ice

Artist Kjetil Berge will be driving an ice cream van from London to Kirkenes, Norway, via Murmansk, Russia. On the way he will be passing out ice creams to people he meets in exchange for a conversation about the weather.

‘Breaking the Ice’ is a wilfully absurd journey – taking ice cream, via an unnecessarily elaborate route, far into the arctic circle in mid winter in a fossil-fuel burning vehicle that was designed for summer days in England, while using it as a platform for discussions on global warming. Its paradoxical nature is meant to confront our collective disavowal of impending crises and is also a journey to one of the front lines of climate change where its effects are really being felt. At the same time it celebrates our sometimes-absurd capacity for optimism. The van itself, bought on ebay from a failed ice-cream salesman in the north of England, is an emblem of hapless optimism and thwarted aspirations.
The project name "Breaking the Ice" derives from the English expression ‘to break the ice’, which means to initiate social interaction, often through humour or friendly overtures.

The London send-off is supported by NABROAD (Norwegian Artists Abroad), GS2 & HCD.

The project is commissioned by North Norwegian Art Centre (Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter) and part of the arts festival Barents Spektakel in Kirkenes, Norway. The festival is a cultural-political cocktail with contemporary art, performances, literature, theatre, film, seminars and concerts as ingredients, spiced with the current issues related to the Barents Region and the High North in general.

One man and his ice cream van: London - Murmansk Russia – Kirkenes Norway
The London sing and send-off
15th December 4-6 pm
Gillett Square, Bradbury Street
London, N16 8JN


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