Artist projects Greta Thunberg's words on London's Tate Modern ahead of Cop26

The artwork, called 'Hurt Earth', will move to Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, which starts on Sunday

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is at the centre of US artist Jenny Holzer's travelling installation, marking the start of Cop26. EPA
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“If we choose to act together, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.” These words, spoken by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are being projected on to London's Tate Modern as part of a work called Hurt Earth by US artist Jenny Holzer, to highlight the climate crisis.

The work, which began on Friday and runs until Sunday, will travel next to Scotland, coinciding with the start of 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or Cop26, being held in Glasgow. Thunberg will be one of the speakers at the Cop26 Coalition's Global Day of Action for Climate Justice rally next week.

It will be projected onto the SEC Armadillo auditorium in the Blue Zone of Cop26 on November 8, before the conference wraps up on November 11. A text from David Attenborough will feature in this version, according to The Art Newspaper.

Holzer, whose career began in the 1970s with street posters in New York, is well known for her series of light projection works, which have hit cities across the world, from Miami to Milan. She has been part of exhibitions at Venice Biennale, Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In Hurt Earth, she has used excerpts of writing, speeches, testimonies and interviews from more than 40 climate leaders and activists. These are being projected on to the museum's chimney from sundown until 10pm each evening.

Another quote used is by Jewish religious scholar Hillel the Elder, saying, "If not now, then when".

American author Robin Wall Kimmerer's words also feature: "Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair."

Other locations the piece, which is presented by WWF's Art For Your World, will travel to is Glasgow's Met Tower and other spots throughout Edinburgh in a series of pop-ups.

At the Tate Modern, Holzer's work headlines the museum's Power to Change weekend, which includes workshops, talks, film screenings and food, focusing on sustainability to coincide with Cop26.

Updated: October 31, 2021, 8:11 AM