olafur eliasson layers riverbed within louisiana museum of modern art olafur eliasson layers riverbed within louisiana museum of modern art
aug 19, 2014

olafur eliasson layers riverbed within louisiana museum of modern art

 

for the first time, danish-icelandic artist olafur eliasson presents a solo show at denmark’s prestigious louisiana museum of modern art, placing three spatial installations within the architectural context of the site. like many of the exhibitions presented throughout his creative career, eliasson’s ‘riverbed’ is site-specific, engaging with the cultural institution’s unique identity, thematically linking the artworks and gallery as a place — physically, structurally and historically. radical interventions delve into the reality of the space as an institution, and at the same time focus on local sensory experiences as part of a global perspective.

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
all images by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art

 

 

 

the central work in the exhibition is ‘riverbed’, a giant landscape which unfolds throughout the south wing of the gallery in one great sweep. a surface of rocks canvasses the floors, creating a terrain for a stream of water winding through the interior. the piece places an alternative path to the one already anticipated by the architecture: visitors are transported from the typical walk across a tile floor, to steps on top of loose terrain, and finally a course along a river. the installation acts as a direct reference to the history of the site — louisiana’s south wing was added in 1982 on a slope that used to be home to a sculpture garden. ‘riverbed’ affords the viewer the opportunity to think about the aesthetic experience as more than just an encounter between the visitor and works on the floor or walls.

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
photo by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art

 

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
photo by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art

 

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
photo by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art

 

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
photo by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art

 

olafur eliasson riverbed louisiana museum designboom
olafur eliasson
riverbed, 2014
installation shot
photo by anders sune berg, courtesy of the louisiana museum of modern art     

 

 

 

accompanying ‘riverbed’ is a ‘model room’ in the north wing of the museum which offers a gaze into the artist’s intellectual workshop. in constant development, the creative lab houses new projects and a comprehensive collection of geometrical models, made in close collaboration with icelandic artist einar thorsteinn.

olafur-eliasson-riverbed-louisiana-museum-designboom-08
installation shot of ‘model room’, 2003

 

 

additionally, in the museum’s large hall, three video works are shown: ‘movement microscope’ follows a group of dancers in eliasson’s studio on what is an otherwise ordinary working day; ‘your embodied garden’ explores a chinese field in suzhou through the minimal movements of choreographer steen koerner; ‘innen stadt aussen’ presents a double portrait of berlin in motion.

 olafur-eliasson-riverbed-louisiana-museum-designboom-09
olafur eliasson
riverbed
installation shot of ‘model room’, 2003

 

 

 

olafur eliasson says: ‘what I’m interested in with my work at the louisiana isn’t really that you experience an object or an artwork. I am interested in how you connect this landscape to the rest of the world and ultimately, how you experience yourself within it. when we’re in our familiar surroundings, in our circle of family and friends, our senses are very finely tuned, but the further away we get from the local context, the cruder the sensing becomes. I wonder if our focus on the atmospheric can give us a relationship with something that is very abstract and far away.’

  • If you are going to create something that evokes a natural setting, at least make it a nice experience. This looks like a sewer leak in the basement of the gallery. What a con job!

    trimtab21 says:
  • Compare and contrast with Walter De Maria’s Earth Room (1977) in Soho on Wooster Street.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • Artist: My desire is to explore the juxtoposition of the natural and built environments. Everyone who experiences the space will ponder the jarring dissimilarities and mentally explore their existential connection with the world around them. People will have to evaluate how we as humans build and utilize both natural and man-made spaces. Hoopty bloopty hum pum pum.

    Everyone else: There’s a stream inside a building. INSIDE. A. BUILDING!

    Scooby Doo says:
  • Mort d’Urban, great recommendation- -thanks ! trimtab21, grass, flowers and a couple of bushes would just have reduced the whole work to a kitsch recreation of a park indoors. This way, the work is much more open to interpretation by the visitors. Art isn’t primarily about beauty anymore, although some of Eliasson’s other works are very beautiful.

    Michael says:
  • I never suggested adding ‘a couple of bushes’ or any flora. I’ve done allot of hiking and seen some of the most beautiful rock streams on earth – this ain’t one of them. Regarding the artists goals – Fail! I hope the artist is going to clean up this mess!

    trimtab21 says:
  • Them’s lots o wurds for a flooded build’n

    Ron Smith says:
  • Was it worth the effort ?
    Or are you just talking to the same crowd of intellectuals who ARE GOING TO CHOOSE to visit the “holy gallery space” ???
    perhaps better to take a huge huge dump truck and open the contents down the middle of 5th Ave
    or
    in Brooklyn
    but then you might get some people really pissed off.
    Here you are just preaching to the choir

    Paedra says:
  • I’m glad most of the people here “got” the thing that Olafur is just playing very basic “retina” based tricks.
    As Duchamp used to say – RETINA – art is just for the sake of short visual blimps…Olafur uses the great work of R.Buckminster Fuller, in the same time as decoration and never understood a piece of it. He gives the art market what it wants – dumb, dumber, Olafur….
    Regrading the river – people like Christoph Büchel did “dislocational” artworks already 15 years ago – and btw. to dislocate something without any sort of meaning is – BOOORING

    robert barta says:
  • Jim,No offense inetdned, but I have to call Bullshit on Mr. Eliasson! Really, the emperor has no clothes!! I love art art and really do appreciate some conceptual art, but what he gets away with is really highway robbery. I went to his last show at MoMA and was totally non-plussed. Any lighting designer or even technician could pull off what he does. He puts some theatrical lighting up and calls it art! Most of the installations are just theatrical gags that any of us do on a daily basis. He has figured out a way to get, what I am sure is amazing amounts of money for his “installations” and pieces.I listened to his TED talk and it was mostly questions, simple optical illusions and a slide show of his “works”. The waterfalls were ridiculous. They consisted of scaffolding with hoses creating a water curtain. How is that bringing nature to the city? How is it helping me measure the distance between two boroughs?I have to share photos with you of another artist’s installation at MoMA that I ran into last week. She hung an ETC Zoom ellipsoidal up on the ceiling, put in a glass gobo of a red drape and shined it on a wall and called it an installation! People were snapping their friends in this magical art installation!! Really? How much did the museum pay for this installation. Where do I sign up?I guess that we should be impressed that Olafur has come up with a way to separate people from their money!#WilcoTangoFoxtrot

    Lukasz says:

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