the invisible mountain grapples with melting glaciers at venice biennale

on watch inside of the italian pavilion at the venice architecture biennale is an installation that brings interest to the tangible effects of global weather change. realized by giovanni betti and katharina fleck, ‘the invisible mountain’ seems at the presena glacier in italy’s northern trentino area, which has been lined in 34 tonnes of plastic tarpaulin each and every summertime because 2008 to preserve the snow from melting. the show at the biennale is composed of a single piece of this tarpaulin, hung in the shape of the mountain, and it aims to increase recognition of the disappearing glaciers in the italian alps though revealing concealed complexities in the fight from local climate modify.

the presena glacier is covered in plastic at the commencing of the summer time and freed yet again in september/october

photographs and key online video courtesy of the invisible mountain



the presena glacier sits 3000 meters over sea amount in the vicinity of passo del tonale in italy. owing to growing temperatures, the glacier has lost more than one particular third of its quantity considering that 1993. to stop it from disappearing entirely, just about every 12 months given that 2008, the consorzio pontedilegno-tonale, alongside one another with the scientific assist of the university of trento, started masking component of the glacier with significant tarpaulin sheets to safeguard the snow in the summer time months. when they are finished, the massive white polypropylene masking is barely distinguishable from the snow underneath.

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the plastic tarpaulin handles an location of about 100,000 sq. meters and weighs in excess of 34 tonnes



today 100,000 square meters of the glacier (approximately equivalent to 14 football fields) are coated in geotextile to support help you save the snow. creators of ‘the invisible mountain‘ exhibition, giovanni betti and katharina fleck, watch this once-a-year ritual not only as desperate, but also deeply ironic the tarpaulin utilized to guard from local climate adjust is designed from the similar product that brings about it: petroleum-derived plastics

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each year the plastic include will save 2 to 3 meters of snow depth



the set up at the venice architecture biennale 2021 steps around 5 x 15 meters and is held by fishing strains in the condition of the mountain. floating in mid-air, people are encouraged to wander beneath the plastic canopy so they can expertise the void beneath it and be reminded of the disappearing glaciers it tries to safeguard. the fabric thus results in being a symbol, allowing viewers to grasp the tangible consequences of local weather alter that are now occurring. 

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the installation in the italian pavilion at venice architecture biennale



‘it is a tragic reminder of how our steps are affecting the earth at a geological scale, how our extremely notion of ‘nature’ requirements to be reframed. in the age of the anthropocene there is no extra wilderness, the world has become a planetary backyard that we influence and retain — or not. when a mountain requirements to be wrapped in plastic to help save ecosystems that have persisted for millennia from disappearing in a couple many years, we know that the term ‘natural’ has misplaced its which means. there are only varying levels of artificiality. there is no for a longer time a natural atmosphere, only a designed setting,’  say giovanni betti and katharina fleck.

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the installation in the italian pavilion at venice architecture biennale



‘the invisible mountian’ has been conceptualized and understood by prof. giovanni betti and katharina fleck with the assist of the pupils of the chair of structural structure (konstruktives enwerfen und tragwerksplanung KET) led by prof. christoph gengnagel. the exhibit is on view in the italian pavilion (curated by alessandro melis) in the part ‘global south’, coordinated by paola ruotolo

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‘the invisible mountain’ in the foyer of the college of the arts (UdK), berlin

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‘the invisible mountain’ in the lobby of the college of the arts (UdK), berlin

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‘the invisible mountain’ in the lobby of the college of the arts (UdK), berlin

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the draping of the textile was simulated using electronic type-discovering approaches (an early examine)

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conceptual review for ‘the invisible mountain’



venture information:


title: the invisible mountain | @theinvisiblemountain

place: italian pavilion, arsenale, venice

function: 17th global architecture exhibition – la biennale di venezia

dates: may 22 – november 21, 2021

structure: giovanni betti, katharina fleck with the assistance of the learners of the chair of structural layout (konstruktives enwerfen und tragwerksplanung KET) led by christoph gengnagel


designboom has acquired this job from our ‘Diy submissions‘ feature, wherever we welcome our readers to submit their very own perform for publication. see far more venture submissions from our readers right here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom