“THE WANDERING ICEBERGS” in the heart of Vienna
Commissioned by Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, this year’s artistic covering of the Ringturm brings a touch of seaside flair to the Danube Canal – while also subtly drawing attention to the problem of climate change.
An initiative of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the Ringturm will be transformed this summer into what at first glance looks like an idyllic summertime scene showing bathers on a sandy beach. But the clouds in the background and the sharp silhouettes that jump out from Slovenian artist Vanja Bućan’s design hint at a change on the horizon. They reference the icebergs that give the work its name and are intended to turn the spotlight on climate change and its devastating consequences. “It’s particularly satisfying if we can also use art as a means of raising awareness of important topical issues such as climate change. And that is exactly what we are doing this year with Wandering Icebergs by Slovenian artist Vanja Bućan, whose work on the banks of the Danube Canal will give the people of Vienna a taste of summer, sea and sunshine,” as Robert Lasshofer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the main shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), explained. The Group entered the Slovenian insurance market with the Wiener Städtische zavarovalnica podružnica brand in 2004.
The power of the oceans
Due to start in the next few days, work on adorning the Ringturm’s facade is scheduled for completion in the middle of June. The 4,000m2 artistic covering is made up of a total of 30 printed netting sheets, each around 3m wide and up to 63m long. For this year’s wrapping of the landmark building, Slovenian artist Vanja Bućan has carved icebergs into the summertime setting, while a group of bathers have gathered below to enjoy the magic of the coastal scenery. “I want my painting to highlight nature’s inherent potential for change. Like the people in my picture, all of us are only tiny fragments of a larger context. Wandering icebergs have become a symbol of climate change. For me, they also represent just how unpredictable events can be – at this particular moment on the beach, it’s not entirely clear how the day will turn out for the bathers,” said Vanja Bućan of her work.
The artist: Vanja Bućan
Born in 1973 in Nova Gorica in Slovenia, freelance photographer Vanja Bućan now lives and works in Berlin. She also collaborates with the Ljubljana Academy of Arts in her role as a mentor. She initially studied social sciences before going on to complete a degree at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague in 2010. Over the years, Vanja Bućan has developed a style all of her own, with a focus on depicting people and nature as well as the relationship between them. The position of women in society is another recurring theme in her oeuvre. Her work has been exhibited both across the former Yugoslavia and internationally. Her most notable international appearances include shows at Kunst Haus Wien in the Austrian capital, the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz, Benaki Museum (Greece), Lishui Museum of Art (China), Beijing’s CAFA Art Museum (China), Museum of Modern Art Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and she has also participated in various international photography festivals and art fairs.