shanghai's long museum hosts career-spanning survey of olafur eliasson's work
 
shanghai's long museum hosts career-spanning survey of olafur eliasson's work
mar 24, 2016

shanghai's long museum hosts career-spanning survey of olafur eliasson's work

 

marking his first ever survey exhibition in china, olafur eliasson presents ‘nothingness is not nothing at all’ at shanghai’s long museum, west bund. the monumental show brings together a diverse selection of artworks extending from eliasson’s early career to the present day, alongside a number of new installations conceived especially for the exhibit. each of the pieces have been chosen and organized with particular attention paid to their relationship with the vaulted, austere concrete architecture designed by atelier deshaus. ‘I wanted to amplify the feeling of the cavernous museum galleries by installing artworks that invite visitors to look inwards,’ eliasson says, ‘to question how their senses work, and dream up utopias for everyday life.’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
the open pyramid, 2016
all images by anders sune berg, © olafur eliasson
courtesy of the artist; vitamin creative space, guangzhou; neugerriemschneider, berlin; tanya bonakdar gallery, new york 

 

 

 

drawing from the long museum‘s rectangular rooms and curved ceilings, eliasson selected artworks that complement the geometries of the space, particularly ones with circular, spherical, cuboid, or pyramidal configurations. pavilion-like installations create intimate areas within the galleries, while the vast interior is divided by precisely-curated artwork groupings. many of the pieces include elemental materials such as stone, ice, water, or light, while other optical devices, lenses, mirrors, and glass spheres reinforce the subjectivity of visual perception.

 

for example, ‘the open pyramid’ — a large-scale, site-specific installation — invites viewers inside a giant mirrored structure where a landscape of light, shadow and reflection is echoed onto the surrounding environment. overall, the exhibition encourages the active engagement of the visitor, and highlights their active role in the discovery and co-creation of the world around them.

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
the open pyramid, 2016

 

 

‘reality is what we make it to be,’ eliasson says, ‘it is what we see, sense, think, feel, and do. it is also what things, artworks, spaces, and cities do to us. art challenges our perspective on the world, turns it upside down, or suggests alternative views – I hope visitors to the exhibition will be inspired to undertake such inquiries. I see the questioning of what is as an opportunity. it makes that which we take for granted negotiable, open to change.’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
installation view at long museum, shanghai, 2016

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
installation view at long museum, shanghai, 2016

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
your disappearing garden, 2011 |  © 2011 olafur eliasson

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
detail of ‘your disappearing garden’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
still river, 2016

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
detail of ‘still river’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
all your views, 2015 | © 2015 olafur eliasson

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
detail of ‘all your views’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
bridge from the future, 2014 | © 2014 olafur eliasson

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
detail of ‘bridge from the future’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
happiness, 2011 | © 2011 olafur eliasson

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
detail of ‘happiness’

olafur eliasson china long museum shanghai nothingness nothing at all
dust particle, 2014 | © 2014 olafur eliasson

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