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Georgie Friedman: Fragments of Antarctica

The Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria: Gallery 268

Georgie Friedman stages site-specific, immersive installations that evoke the beauty of the natural world and point to the uncertain future of a warming planet. Through explorations of man-made climate change, Friedman’s artwork addresses the effects of a global crisis on one of the most fragile landscapes on Earth.

Friedman received a 2017 Traveling Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, and voyaged to the Antarctic Peninsula to gain first-hand experience documenting the desolate beauty of the polar region. During her expedition, Friedman sketched the environment, recorded video footage, and photographed the Peninsula, which are all integral components of this exhibition.

“Georgie Friedman: Fragments of Antarctica” combines many experiential elements from Friedman’s travels. Edge of the Current: Antarctic Sound, is a site-specific three-channel video installation that is designed specifically for the unique architecture of the gallery. By projecting the tumultuous waters of the Antarctic Sound on the human-built structure, Friedman contrasts our relationships with natural and constructed environments. The installation activates and draws attention to the architectural elements in I.M. Pei’s modernist design for the Linde Family Wing, while it reminds us—through the unrelenting power of the ocean—that climate change and rising sea levels will impact not only Antarctica, but all of us on this planet.

Friedman’s photographic typology of singular icebergs—from the enormous and seemingly insurmountable to the rapidly fleeting—challenges our sense of scale. Her constructed panoramic views present a fragmented relationship with the natural world, moving from a large-scale perspective towards an increasingly intimate view of the volcanic mountains, glaciers, icebergs, and physical remains of the region. A two-channel video piece, In the Wake of Icebergs, featuring gigantic icebergs floating out to sea, pairs incongruous seascapes to create a sense of unsteady footing and a desire to level the horizon.

Across the gallery, kinetic sculptures - Churning Icebergs I - III - reference the shape of icebergs and are suspended from above. The thin metal sculptures depict both the visible portions of the icebergs and also the 90 percent of each iceberg that is typically submerged under the surface of the water. Visitors encounter the sculptures from below, inverting our typical vantage point and creating a challenging new perspective of the icescape.

The exhibition presents fragments of a shrinking continent and raises questions about the need to document an ecology in peril. “Georgie Friedman: Fragments of Antarctica” invites visitors to reflect on their own relationship with the natural world—and consider an ice-bound landscape under threat by sweeping global changes.


Georgie Friedman: Fragments of Antarctica

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



April 13, 2019 – September 16, 2019

Contemporary Wing, Second Floor

The Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria: Gallery 268


Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 6  - 8 pm*

Artist Meet & Greet and Spotlight Talks: 6 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:15 pm | Gallery 268

Monday, September 9 | 9:30 - 10am

MFA, Boston Facebook Live Event | Georgie Friedman Artist Talk (10mins)

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 | 8 - 10 pm*

Final Artist Meet & Greet, with open Q&A | Gallery 268

*MFA admission is by voluntary contribution Wednesdays 4-10 pm.

Avenue of the Arts | 465 Huntington Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Hours & Tickets | Floor plan |



Above: Fragments of Antarctica, three installation views, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2019

Below Churning Ice is an installation that consists of three suspended, kinetic sculptures: Churning Icebergs I - III, that range in size from 3½ x 7½  ft to 9 x 6 ft (H x W). The sculptures were designed and installed to take advantage of the 10 - 23 foot high ceilings, skylight roof, and open balcony so they would reflect natural and artificial light while rotating beyond the traditional confines of the space. The sectional, aluminum sculptures reference the above/below water aspects of icebergs, while inverting our typical perspective, placing us beneath the ice. 

Right: In the Wake of Icebergs, two-channel video, 25 min continuous loop, silent.

Photographs from the Antarctica Series:

  1. Snow Cliffs and Mountains, Punta Pora, Faux Panorama

  2. Iceberg Edges, Foyn Iceberg No. 1, Faux Panorama

  3. Nine Icebergs, various locations off West Antarctica

  4. Blue Ice Detail with Mountains, Paradise Harbor, Faux Panorama

  5. Glacier with Volcanic Sediment, Subglacial Eruption Remnants, Deception Island, Diptych No. 1

  6. Whale Bone Piles, Whaling Industry Remnants, Jougla Point, Triptych No. 1

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"Fragments of Antarctica: In Conversation with Georgie Friedman," interview by Gina Linder, Boston Art Review, Sept 3, 2019

"Georgie Friedman, Live Exhibit Talk," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Facebook LIVE broadcast, Sept. 9, 2019

"Georgie Friedman: Fragments of Antarctica offers passport to imperiled Antarctic," TuftsNow, March 12, 2019

"Φθίνουσα ομορφιά, αβέβαιο μέλλον [Declining beauty, uncertain future]," Agni Katsioula, Η Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών [The Journal of Editors], Greece, Aug. 25, 2019

"Documentando La Antártida. Georgie Friedman [Documenting The Antarctic. Georgie Friedman]," Eduardo Álvarez, Madrid Art Process, June 6, 2019