Burning Ice

Re-Imagining the Landscape

Re-Imagining the Landscape
Re-Imagining the Landscape


There is a long tradition of depicting the landscape in art history and philosophy. But how are we to relate to melting ice caps, felled forests and endangered animal species? Nowadays, the yearning for the ‘wildness’ of nature has been stripped of its last traces of romance. How does mankind deal with this ‘new’ uncontrollability? Are we able to redefine our aesthetic and ethical position, taking modesty as a core value?


in English | free | please book in advance

Artists, scientists and cultural critics talk about ‘Re-Imagining the Landscape’.
Moderator is critic, dramaturge and curator Jeroen Peeters.

Herman ParretSublime ice landscapes in the visual arts

emeritus professor of philosophy and aesthetics at the Catholic University of Leuven

The sublime experience of the deserted ice landscape met the romantic desire for the wild and became a topos in the arts, though changing in meaning over time. From Gustave Doré over Robert Smithson’s land art to contemporary artists aware of global warming’s impact: their poetics are closely connected to the aesthetics of the sublime, in which man feels the limits of his own imagination.

Martin DrenthenThe Wildness of Melting Ice

environmental philosopher, affiliated with the Radboud University Nijmegen

Our relation to nature is deeply ambiguous. Fascinated as we are by the limits of our agency, we are interested in nature to the extent that it escapes our control. We are searching for unspoilt nature and even building new wilderness, driven by a desire for authentic experiences of wildness. Today, our desire for the wild is challenged by the uncanny reality of global warming: how much romanticism can we afford ourselves when confronted with the ‘new’ uncontrollability of melting polar ice?

Geerdt MagielsWhat do we search in nature but ourselves?


Artists David Buckland, Kris Verdonck, Anouk De Clercq, Kate McIntosh and Maria Thereza Alves will respond to these lectures, departing from a discussion of their own work.


in English | € 10 | please book in advance

The Industrial Food Complex is one of the biggest culprits responsible for climate change. We invite five ‘alternative food thinkers’ to cook and tell their story.

The programme of this evening is to be decided.


in English | free | please book in advance

A combination of performances, talks, music and film. The full programme will be announced later, but here is a small selection of the evening’s activities:

David Buckland, Heather Ackroyd, Dan Harvey, Vicky Long,… [London] - Cape Farewell

The photographer David Buckland has since 2001 taken artists, scientists, journalists, etc., on an adventurous annual expedition to the North Pole on the schooner Noorderlicht. This sailing vessel acts as a laboratory on this quest for a cultural and artistic answer to climate change. David Buckland will be bringing along several of the artists who have travelled with him to tell their fascinating stories.

See the Time’s Up circuit too & www.capefarewell.com

Anouk De Clercq [Brussel] -
Kernwasser Wunderland

Kernwasser Wunderland opens up a deserted landscape in a pregnant environment, a biotope subject to specific laws ans its own ecology filled according to the intuitive logic of the unconscious and the imaginery. The basis for the contact is the great nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in April 1986. As a consequence of the greater danger of radiation the whole area was declared inaccessible ans was closed off with fencing and checkpoints. The radiation cannot be smelt or tasted, only a geigercounter can confirm its presence. This abandonment and brooding emptiness inspired the artist to refelct on nature and technology, in a fusion of sensual sound and image of both digital and natural worlds. 
Gosie Vervloessem [Brussels] - Anytime (How to make your own clouds?)

Gosie Vervloessem gives a commentary on her experiment on making clouds in her own kitchen. 


in English | free

Jennifer Baichwal - Manufactured landscapes

Canada, 2007, 83 min.

A documentary on the work of the photographer Edward Burtynsky. His photos show the devastating impact of industrialisation on nature. The film shows Burtynsky on a trip around China, where he photographs the effects of its recent industrial revolution.

There's more

Kate McIntosh

Kate McIntosh
Kate McIntosh


Kaaitheater artist-in-residence 2017-2021