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?

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