March 5. 2024. 1:29

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Vienna ‘few degrees’ exhibit tilts paintings to call for climate action


Activists from the group Last Generation smeared the screen in front of Klimt’s "Death and Life" at the Leopold Museum in Vienna and glued one of their hands to it in the November protest calling for an end to drilling for oil.

"We found this way to be absolutely the wrong one," the museum’s artistic director, Hans-Peter Wipplinger, said on the opening day of its response: a small exhibition with the full title "A Few Degrees More (Will Turn the World into an Uncomfortable Place)".

It involves hanging 15 works by artists including Klimt and fellow Austrian great Egon Schiele at an angle, with texts calling attention to the effect that global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels would have on the landscapes depicted in them.

According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions must be halved by the mid-2030s if the world is to have any chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — a key target enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"We wanted to initiate something productive, something communicative. That means conveying a message and not just in spectacular images (such as the protest) but by helping visitors learn about the situation and the various contexts of this global heating," Wipplinger said.

The exhibition runs until 26 June.

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