The Iceberg Cometh: Iluliaq


Blink is a great vantage point to see Iluliaq at the NGC


OTTAWA, June 19, 2013 /CNW/ – A massive iceberg has engulfed the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Canada(NGC). The monumental art work, a vibrant contrast to the heat of the summer, was created by Greenlandic artist Inuk Silis Høegh. Entitled Iluliaq [Iceberg], the site-specific installation is part of the NGC’s major summer exhibitionSakahàn: International Indigenous Art, the largest-ever global survey of contemporary Indigenous art. For more information, visit

As visitors approach Iluliaq, they hear the soundscape of cracking and rumbling ice, almost as though they were standing in the path of an actual iceberg. Playing up the effects of trompe-l’oeil, Inuk Silis Høegh did not simply work with a reproduction of an ice formation. Instead, he created an iceberg of his own imagination out of composite images from photographs taken by his father, renowned photographer Ivars Silis. As Høegh explains, “it is a sort of perverse pleasure for me to construct my own iceberg, even if Iluliaq is only illusion and mimicked reality. If you look closer, you might question its credibility. Is that formation really possible? Does gravity allow that protrusion? Would nature really behave this way? Maybe it would, because fortunately the world is vivid and reality exceeds my imaginationSo why didn’t I just print an unmanipulated photograph of an ice formation – why did I need to sculpt my image? Is it man’s desire to control nature, to break it up in bits and put it back together? Or maybe it just comforts me that the ice is wild and that it threatens us with its fragility?… Overwhelmed with the realization that I can never grasp the world, I try to construct my own illusion of it. Copy pasting, and repeating the conceptions that I think I know.”

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