olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

basel’s fondation beyeler is hosting the first site-specific installation in switzerland by world-renowned artist olafur eliasson. titled life, the show intertwines the museum, its surrounding park, the urban landscape and nature in such way that it presents itself as a piece that constantly evolves to generate a dialogue between these coexisting spheres while rejecting the separation between culture and nature. 

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water
(main and above) image by mark niedermann

 

 

‘in recent years, I have increasingly grown interested in efforts to consider life not from a human-centric perspective but from a broad, biocentric perspective,’ commented olafur eliasson on the motivation behind the show. ‘I’ve found myself turning nouns into verbs – when I go through my exhibition, I try to tree, for instance – in order to become aware of perspectives that go beyond what we humans can properly imagine.’

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water
image by mark niedermann

 

 

throughout his career, olafur eliasson has exposed his belief in the power of art to transform society. life aims to make people recognize how their lives are inextricably entangled with their surroundings and with structures and systems that go beyond their local context. this ultimately results in letting go of control and understanding that uncertainty is part of it all.

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water
image by pati brabowicz

 

 

‘when sam keller, the director of the fondation beyeler, and I first discussed the exhibition a couple of years ago, I thought, why don’t we invite everyone to the show? let’s invite the planet – plants and various species,’ eliasson continues. ‘beyond just opening a door, I decided to remove the structural boundaries that keep the outside out of the institution, and I am grateful to the fondation beyeler and to the architect renzo piano, who built the museum, for trusting me to carefully – and caringly – have the glass façade removed from the building.’

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

 

 

ultimately, life by olafur eliasson is the artist’s way of giving up control over the art pieces and giving it, in a way, to human and non-human visitors including plants, microorganisms, weather, etc. normally, these elements are supposed to be kept out, far from the artworks as not to damage them.

fondation-beyeler-olafur-eliasson-life-designboom-005

 

 

‘life offers human visitors the opportunity to activate their full sensorium,’ the artist concludes. ‘through the smells of the plants and water, the sounds of the surroundings, the moisture in the air, visitors are always invited to use more than vision alone to explore the artwork. it invites ‘panoramic awareness’ within the landscape. it suggests that what is behind you, on either side of you, or above you is as important as what lies in front and ahead of you.’

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

olafur eliasson floods fondation beyeler's interiors and exteriors with green water

fondation-beyeler-olafur-eliasson-life-designboom-013

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