olafur eliasson makes contact with fondation louis vuitton olafur eliasson makes contact with fondation louis vuitton
dec 15, 2014

olafur eliasson makes contact with fondation louis vuitton

 

 

commencing the second phase of its inaugural program, paris’ gehry-designed fondation louis vuitton presents an expansive, multi-faceted exhibition that feeds the senses, by danish-icelandic artist olafur eliasson. ‘contact’ explores ‘the relations between self, space, and universe’ by creating a surreal, alternate reality within the newly-built museum. a series of site-specific installations with photos by iwan baan immerse visitors in an interplay between moving light and shadow, a chiaroscuro which seemingly transports the audience into the complete darkness of outer space. various smaller optical devices distributed throughout the exhibition along with specially-built passageways build upon eliasson’s on-going study of human perception and the construction of space.

 

‘my exhibition addresses that which lies at the edge of our senses and knowledge, of our imagination and our expectations’ eliasson explains. ‘it is about the horizon that divides, for each of us, the known from the unknown.’

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, contact, 2014
all images courtesy of studio olafur eliasson, © iwan baan

 

 

 

entering ‘contact’, visitors move on the sloping floor as if they were traversing the top of a sphere. the light phenomenon that passes along the circumference of the space is reminiscent of one planetary body transiting in front of another. 

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, contact, 2014
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

chief curator and artistic director of fondation louis vuitton suzanne pagé:olafur eliasson often bases his work on cutting-edge advances in scientific thought, placing renewed emphasis on the situation of humanity in the world. tapping into the visitors’ capacity for empathy, the artist strives to activate their participation, implicating them in a complex, multi-sensorial experience. the constant oscillation between shadow/light, presence/absence, and affirmation/doubt causes us to question our visual perceptions and, in consequence, our convictions.’

 

‘to this end, the route through the exhibition is derived from the geometry of the circle and founded upon the underlying principle of circularity. by bringing viewers into “contact” with a meteorite, an extraterrestrial object with a magical, even symbolic, character, the exhibition begins with a gesture intended by the artist to place visitors in a state of perceptiveness that expands the horizons of our imagination.’

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, map for unthought thoughts, 2014
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

in ‘map for unthought thoughts’, the audience is at the center of the piece. their shadow glides along a semicircle that is extended into a full circumference by a mirror.

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, map for unthought thoughts, 2014
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

on the roof, eliasson has installed an apparatus that tracks the sun and, at certain hours of the day, directs light rays onto a multifaceted, geometric sculpture suspended within the building. simultaneously, the exhibition interacts with the artist’s newly revealed commission ‘inside the horizon’, which offers a dynamic choreography of daylight, yellow light, shadows, and reflections that constantly change the perspective of the fondation’s architecture.

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, map for unthought thoughts, 2014
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, map for unthought thoughts, 2014
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, double infinity, 2014 (detail)
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, double infinity, 2014 (detail)
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, parallax planet, 2014 (detail)
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, bridge from the future, 2014
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, dust particle, 2014
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, touch, 2014
image © iwan baan

olafur eliasson contact fondation louis vuitton paris
olafur eliasson, big bang fountain, 2014
image © iwan baan

 

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