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Once Again, Olafur Eliasson Takes Us Closer to Our Surroundings

Monday 27th December 2010

  
 
Any one that has visited an exhibition of the work of Olafur Eliasson will be able to testify to how complete an experience it is. You are able to see, hear, feel and be part of creations that speak to the full range of your senses. By intervening in the gallery space to create something which transcends physicality and permeates the entire room, Eliasson invites you to be more aware of your surroundings and to response to things which may be common place, but which we take for granted. 
 
Take for example, Eliassons famous work, The Weather Project, which was part of the Unilever Series held at the Tate in 2003. The installation, which dominated the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, aimed to represent the sun and sky.  Hundreds of mono-frequency lamps, in a semi circular formation, were used, along with a mirrored ceiling to re-create the sun indoors. Mist filled the room in varying densities to produce cloud like effects or the haze of an autumn morning. 
 
The project allowed visitors to the Tate Modern, the chance to get up close and personal with the sun; with a weather effect that we deal with on a daily basis, yet completely take for granted. Bringing the weather indoors, and into the gallery space, opened up conversation about how we live with weather and experience it throughout our lives. 
 
Eliassons latest project it entitled Din Blinde Passager (Your Blind Passenger) and it is a 90-metre-long installation that is filled with a dense fog.  As a visitor to the installation you are able to walk through the 90-metre-long tunnel to experience the fog first hand, making your way from one end to the other with visibility being at 1.5 metres at best. 
 
Eliassons work once again transcends the physicality that this is just a tunnel full of fog - it opens up the gallery space to be a  full body experience that asks you to use all of your senses to partake fully in the installation. With visibility so low, your other senses are heightened and you are asked to concentrate singularly on the work of art for an extended period of time.  It is well known that for gallery and museum audiences, the average amount of time spent looking at a single piece of art can be quoted in seconds rather than minutes - Eliasson has created something here which leaves the visitor unable to move their focus elsewhere until they have reached the end of the piece. 
 
The installation which investigates our individual relationship with our surroundings, can be seen the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. The exhibition is on view until the 27th November 2011. For more information, please visit the museum website. 
 
Image Credits: (Left) Courtesy of Tate website. (Right) Olafur Eliasson,Test for Din blinde passager, 2010, foto Studio Olafur Eliasson © 2010 Olafur Eliasson

Posted on December 27th 2010 on 04:47pm

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