Journey Into Light
Olafur Eliasson in Berlin
||Visitors are enveloped by yellow fog. The yellow slowly turns to green, the red to orange. Initially, the thick plumes disorient people attending the exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. With the help of fluorescent tubes and fog machines, Olafur Eliasson’s installation Your Blind Movement not only makes the White Cube vanish in a colored haze. Exhibition guests, too, disappear in it, only to suddenly take on form again. The projects of the Danish-Icelandic artist turn spectators into participants, into co-producers, so to speak. "I’d like my installations to induce viewers to observe themselves while observing," he said in an interview with ArtMag in 2003.
After spectacular works such as his rising sun at the Tate Modern in London and his waterfalls in New York, Innen Stadt Außen (Inside Rather Than Outside / Inner City Outside) is, astonishingly, Eliasson’s first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin, where he has lived and worked since 1994. The tour de force of the show, which was curated by Daniel Birnbaum, the director of the Städelschule and the 2009 Venice Biennale, is the installation Microscope a bright, gleaming, futuristic mirrored room in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
Innen Stadt Außen is not limited to the confines of the museum. As the title suggests, Eliasson also makes use of urban spaces in Berlin. For example, he erected his Blind Pavillion (2003) on Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). It is not the first time that Eliasson has explored the relationship between interior and exterior space, between art and nature, with a temporary work. In 2007, he realized the Your Black Horizon Pavilion on the Croatian island of Lopud. For the Moment art series, in which Deutsche Bank launched temporary artworks in public spaces, he proposed the project 360 Degree Waterfall – a kind of circular "water pavilion". Since 1997, photo works by the artist have been included in the Deutsche Bank Collection. Eliasson’s installation is not the only reason to take the boat trip to the Pfaueninsel. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the death of the Prussian queen Luise, six international artists executed site-specific works on the island in dialogue with historic buildings and the landscape designed by Peter Joseph Lenné. The engage with the island (which is a world heritage site) and the beloved queen in very different ways.
Olafur Eliasson: Innen Stadt Außen
April 28 to August 9, 2010
Olafur Eliasson: Blind Pavilion
Luise. The Queen’s Island World.
May 1 to October 31, 2010