“Olafur Eliasson”

Olafur Eliasson, beyond appearances

His works can be seen in Geneva, but also Los Angeles, and in the near future, Beijing, before Munich for a summer festival, then Massachusetts. But what makes Olafur Eliasson tick? An interview in Geneva with a widely shown artist who nevertheless remains discreet.   In Geneva, Olafur Eliasson took care to greet every journalist present at the launch of his exhibition “Objets définés par l’activité” (Objects defined by activity) designed by Laurence Dreyfus, curator and adviser at the Espace Muraille. This private mansion, founded by collectors Caroline and Éric Freymond, is an ideal setting for Eliasson’s human-sized works. With restrained and sober elegance, the artist goes over the key points in his professional life: the environment, light, his projects, his proclivity for social contact…   What is the subject of your new exhibition “Objects defined by activity” at the Espace Muraille? This rather intimate exhibition presents sixteen pieces, some of which are preparatory works – and not models – for future, larger projects. Others were produced for the occasion. My works bear ties with science and allude, through geometric systems, light, movement, and flows, to our way of perceiving objects, space, our environment, and others.   Indeed, many pieces play on optical illusions and the way we see things, such as The We Mirror, Colour Window or Day and Night Lava… These works translate our skill for grasping the world, and the way our senses can help us to change it. These are, in some way, “instruments” that exacerbate our way of perceiving the world. Let’s take, for example, The We mirror. This three-dimensional dodecagon plays with its image in the mirror, superposed over its material reality… But does this reflection really express what we see? The way we see things isn’t always the one that we trust. Is...

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Olafur Eliasson commits to the refugees

At a time when the migratory crisis is deepening in Europe, several artists have decided to alert the world of art and public opinion – among them Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. The Green Light project, supported by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) foundation, based in Austria, is a participatory work constructed from lamps that emit a green light inside a geometric structure. Inviting the public to come and deposit new lamps, the artist’s plan is for lamps to accumulate inside the sculpture. Through this process of accumulation, the artist involves the public in producing this artistic project – a collaboration that the artist hopes to see extended to the political field. Profits made from the purchase of these lamps will be handed over to charity organisations. This artistic response is addressed to all European governments, especially the one in Denmark, the artist’s birth country that recently adopted a law enabling authorities to confiscate all goods of value from migrants whenever they exceed the modest sum of 10,000 kroner, in other words little more than $1,400. A poetic strategy for sending an alarm on the issues raised by asylum law. In an interview with Artnet News, the artist made the following declaration: “The cultural sector and the arts can address marginalization and create dialogue better than government institutions. The Green Light Project is about people meeting, and bringing people together, to bring about a dialogue between migrants and Viennese...

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Olafur Elissaon to be the next artist to exhibit at Versailles 

According to Valérie Duponchelle (Le Figaro), Olafur Eliasson will be the next guest artist at the Château de Versailles. Selected by Catherine Pégard, he will thus follow the trail of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor while “intensifying” his relationship with France. The curatorship of the exhibition will be undertaken by Alfred Pacquement, responsible for the Centre Pompidou’s acquisition of the artist’s works a few years ago. Following a major exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2002 and at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2014, the artist will be taking on the Château de Versailles – a site where cohabitation with contemporary art can be difficult and has sometimes raised controversy. But this prospect does not intimidate Olafur Eliasson: “It’s very important to welcome debate in this public space.” This selection will certainly be an opportunity for the Château de Versailles to nurture the dialogue between the institution and contemporary art, announced by the artist as “an ode to the Sun...

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Olafur Eliasson at the Langen Foundation

The Langen Foundation in Neuss, Germany, is currently hosting a retrospective of the artist Olafur Eliasson entitled “Works from the Boros Collection 1994- 2015”, running until 18 October 2015. Around 40 works are on display, loaned from the Boros Collections and selected by curators Christiane Maria Schneider and Christian Boros. Displayed in the minimalist building designed by Tadao Ando, the exhibition covers the entirety of the Danish-Irish artist’s career, from the works he created while he was still a student, such as Guckkasten (1994), to his more recent pieces. Through the installations, photographs, and objects on display, visitors are invited to enter into different environments which play with their perception and way of experiencing things. With a characteristic simplicity and precision, Olafur Eliasson uses reflective materials, coloured glass, and natural phenomena generated in an artificial way such as wind, water, and light, in order to captivate the spectator. These principles form the foundation of his practice since his very first works: “I like to believe that the essential element of my work is found in the experience that one gets out of it”. The rich selection of works by Olafur Eliasson from the Boros collection is a result of the continued interest of Christian and Karen Boros in the contemporary artist who, since his installation in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2003, The weather project, has been considered a master of the immersive...

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Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Ethiopia

Until 15 April, Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center, at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, is to host an exhibition of the works of Olafur Eliasson, entitled “በጊዜ ላይ ጊዜ [Time-sensitive activity]”. For the Danish-Icelandic artist’s first solo exhibition in Africa, the museum is to display works that deal with themes such as light, orientation, mirroring, and ephemerality. Other works to be featured at the exhibition are: Life of a planet; Crystal nebula; Addis compass; The complete sphere lamp; Colour space embracer; and Yellow corridor. The exhibition was organised due to Olafur Eliasson’s long-term interest in Ethiopia and, in particular, his connection with the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University....

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