The Solar Egg Invites Reflection at the American Swedish Institute

Images courtesy American Swedish Institute

Behold, the egg has landed. Or been laid. And cracked to reveal the wonders inside. Oh, it’s so hard to stop! The Solar Egg’s arrival on the grounds of the American Swedish Institute (ASI), and its corresponding event and exhibition titled “Reflect: Bigert & Bergström,” is too fun and fascinating to not carry on about.

On Wednesday, ASI debuts this fantastical golden egg, which is not only a glimmering art object, but also a sauna. Standing at 16 feet tall, and clad in a stainless mirrored surface, the egg is the progeny of Swedish artists Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström, who created the piece for the Swedish housing developer Riksbyggen. The egg symbolizes new beginnings in Kiruna, a town being moved to make way for an iron ore mine.

Now there’s a carton of eggs—label them climate change, environmental destruction, mining interests, first-world energy requirements, and perhaps even social injustice—that deserves to be cracked open and unscrambled. Learn more here. For now, let’s just focus on Bigert and Bergström’s structure: a sculptural chamber in the form of an egg-shaped sauna.

Inside the egg is a wood-fired, heart-shaped sauna stove, which warms the inside of the sculpture to 75-85 degrees Celsius. (That’s up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.) Want to try it out? Book your sauna appointment here, on Wednesday evenings or weekend afternoons through April 29. Tickets are $30 for ASI and 612 Sauna Society members, and $35 for non-members (plus service fees).

ASI is also hosting an Eggstravaganza opening night party on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m., to welcome the egg. The evening not only includes the opportunity to meet and talk with Bigert and Bergström; a film screening of the duo’s The Weather War, followed by a Q+A session, will get to the core of what the egg and the exhibition are about: Climate change and climate-inspired work.

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