Iceberg plan still afloat [sorry]

I had thought this idea had drifted away [sorry, again]… but no, according to this Guardian article Rita Duffy is still trying to persuade everyone that towing an iceberg from the Arctic to Belfast would be an artistic triumph – and, reportedly, has already convinced some of the merits of her proposal.

Not everyone is convinced though –

But Una Reilly, co-founder of the Belfast Titanic Society, said it was too soon after the tragedy for this kind of art.

“I can understand why Rita wants to develop the symbolism of an iceberg,” Ms Reilly said. “But to bring the cause of the disaster into Belfast is not the message Belfast wants to send out to the rest of the world in relation to the Titanic.”

Too soon eh?

The plan didn’t make it into the official list of planned events.. running all this week.

It’s an ambitious project, certainly, and that, by itself, may be enough to make it worth attempting. But I do have a problem with the literalness of it all, as described in the article –

For Rita Duffy, Northern Ireland’s foremost artist, mooring an iceberg off Belfast and allowing it to melt is about “thawing” a place locked in a political and emotional deep freeze where divisions are firmer than ever.

“A huge big mountain of ice seems to be the most eloquent way of describing where we are. There is a certain type of madness in Northern Ireland society, a denial of what has happened to us. Maybe it’s time to come out of denial and confront what has sunk us.”

Well, yes it is..

But… Perhaps we shouldn’t be trying to make a worthy statement.. maybe that too has been devalued along with everything else? Just a thought, but maybe what we should instead be attempting is to create a huge artistic event and celebrate it as an amazing, quirky and joyous thing to do.. without insisting that it must say something profound – Something along the lines of Christo’s The Gates in NY, perhaps?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Has anyone actually thought of the cost, danger and logistics of doing this? Is it actually possible, and if so, is it a good use of my money? Does anyone know how exactly something as huge as an iceberg could be safely brought into the harbour?

    I fear the answer is ‘no’ all round.

  • smcgiff

    Am I raving (Steady now!!), but wasn’t there some talk in the 80’s taking an iceberg to the Middle East for drinking water?

  • Whatabout

    Sorry. Don’t get the Titanic thing at all. It was a ship, it sank, get over it. According to recent TV programmes we may be looking rid of ice in NI anyway, and more worried about the eruption of a ‘supervolcano’.

  • hurdy gurdy man

    A fine idea.

    And I fully agree with Pete Baker’s final paragraph. Whatever the symbolism, it would help bring what Belfast and other smallish cities typically lack – a sense of spectacle.

  • iluvni

    I hope the HSS doesn’t hit it.

  • swadboy

    I`d never describe my self as an avid art fanatic, but did you ever hear such a ball of s***e of an idea such as this.”Down the old viking route” !!! “Closure”= Ball bags!!
    Best case scenario would be to put Rita Duffy in a small boat and crash her into an iceberg! might teach her some cop on and at least she couldnt embarras the province any more.

  • aquifer

    If nothing else it will remind us there is life beyond the entrance to Belfast Lough.

  • Phillip Collins

    How can an act opf violence and downright vandalism be considered in any way therapeutic?!!! I thought art was about the appreciation nof nature – not the destruction of it. Very sad.

  • Phillip Collins

    How can an act opf violence and downright vandalism be considered in any way therapeutic?!!! I thought art was about the appreciation nof nature – not the destruction of it. Very sad.

  • Peter Reavy

    Like PeteB, I thought of The Gates. Though, as I posted on my own blog, as far as I know, Christo and Jeanne-Claude funded this project themselves and took no money from the city of New York to carry it out. So perhaps Rita Duffy could raise the money herself, by taking a job or something.