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This article is the latest in our series #Art4Climate, a joint initiative by the UNFCCC secretariat and Julie’s Bicycle on the work of artists who make the issue of climate change more accessible and understandable by featuring it in their work. It was inspired by a session at the Salzburg Global Seminar in early 2017.

High in the mountains in the ruins of the French village"La Basse Rua", an immense wooden hand constructed on a hillside reaches out, inviting hikers to touch the artwork while they ponder its meaning.

The hand is an art installation by the Argentinian artist Pedro Marzorati, a multidisciplinary artist who uses his work to help build awareness about the need for environmental protection and climate action.

His latest project 'Mano à Mano' is a series of gigantic installations of hands built entirely with tree trunks sculpted on site, evoking the intimate and complex relationship between humans and nature.

“Man has the capacity to change the world through his actions. This hand, holding tools, can be creative or destructive, according to his choices and decisions. In my new series 'Mano à Mano', I am showing a hand which persists in shaping man’s common fate,” the artist says.

The first installation of 'Mano à Mano', by Pedro Marzorati, constructed in the ruins of the ancient village "La Basse Rua" in Vars, Hautes-Alpes, France

There are two installations belonging to the artwork 'Mano à Mano'. One is the mountain village of La Basse Rua, and the other is Moussel House in the French town of Andresy.

The second artwork depicts the hands of a man and a woman, seeking to reach out and interlace. While one hand emerges from stone, the symbol of urban development, the second is portrayed as emerging from the earth, the symbol of nature.

The two hands reaching towards each other suggest that the reconciliation of development and nature is possible. Humans can achieve modern urbanization within the natural environment without destroying it or exhausting its resources.

'Mano à Mano' at the Moussel House in Andresy, France

Building a Bridge between Climate Science and Society

For years, Marzorati’s visionary and lyrical work has inspired viewers to reflect on the interactions between art and science. For him, art is an act of poetic advocacy. As a committed artist, his work aims to change the public's perception of universal problems.

For a long time, the artist has been focusing on the consequences of global warming, touching on the issue of population displacement in 'Noe Noyé' and their relocation in 'Ciudad Silencio', the rising water in 'Where the Tides Ebb and Flow', or storms and extreme climatic events in 'Wind'.

Pedro Marzorati believes that climate change is no longer an abstract concept, but a concrete reality that affects people all around the world.

He is also convinced that the Paris Climate Change Agreement, along with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, provides a solid framework for the international community to take action in a coordinated way, and that art can build a bridge between climate science and society.

Pedro Marzorati’s artwork 'Where the Tides Ebb and Flow' is designed to raise awareness of rising sea levels due to climate change.

It was exhibited at COP 21 in France, where the Paris Agreement was clinched, and it widely featured in the international press. Before that, it was shown at the land-art festival “Kielzog” in the Waterloopbos park in the Netherlands.

'Where the Tides Ebb and Flow' at Parc Montsouris during COP 21 in Paris

'Mano à Mano' will be presented at the 20th anniversary of the art festival ‘Sculpture en L’ile’ in Andresy from the 19th of May to the 24th of September 2017, at 4 Bd Noel-Marc, France.

For more information on Pedro Marzorati, see here.

#Art4Climate is a joint initiative by the UNFCCC and Julie’s Bicycle to spot and propose super recent and new works in this broad field, but we also want to hear from you! Please send any proposals for showcasing to newsroom@unfccc.int or Chiara@juliesbicycle.com.

Please amplify our web posts with Twitter hashtag #Art4Climate and #COP23!

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