Since 2003: Sites, Simulations and Reminiscings Through Olafur Eliasson

My favorite Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who inspired me to visit Iceland for the first time last year with his architectural photographs of Reykjavík, has a show currently up in Chelsea through April 22, 2017

I had studied his 2003 photographs in Reykjavík Series during art history courses in college from 2004 – 2007, and loved the contrast of the stark views of Iceland with the bright, atmospheric sun simulation in Unilever SeriesThe Weather Project, also 2003.

In his current show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, The listening dimension, the concave mirror in Midnight sun reminds me of the giant sun simulation from The Weather Project, which was in London at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall for about 6 months. I never got to witness that show, though seeing a similar work in person all these years later, my head was spinning (around the sun) while combining everything I remembered learning about this artist’s work in college, to what it was like now attending one of his shows and finally witnessing the wonder and weather-like themes in person.

Olafur Eliasson Midnight sun
Olafur Eliasson “Midnight sun”

Time and nostalgia have always been the root of my interests in art, music and photography.

I think of these 2003 works every now and then, when I see a show that is weather or atmosphere related, and even when Olafur Eliasson’s Take Your Time show took place at the MoMA in 2012. His indoor rainbow simulation is probably my most googled topic, as I’m always telling my friends about it and explaining these cool indoor works.

While attending The listening dimension on opening night of March 23rd, the place was swarmed with people, circling around works like orbit 1, orbit 2, and orbit 3 (root name: The listening dimension) and Space resonates regardless of our presence – multiple concentric circles that grow outwards from to the light beams playing onto them. Crowds and camera phones surrounded the halo light of Midnight sun, the photo opps and boomerangs multiplied by the work’s reflective effects.

Olafur Eliasson’s works in the show encourages the viewers “to co-produce the aesthetic experience, as they are only wholly perceivable when one moves around them.” And in return they seemed to bring a warmth to the space.

It was an occasion to zoom in with our eyes, not our phones; everyone was aglow.

KatieKillary_OlafurEliasson_Colour experiment no. 78
Olafur Eliasson “Colour experiment no. 78”
Olafur Eliasson Space resonates
Olafur Eliasson “Space resonates regardless of our presence” series

Olafur Eliasson The listening dimension
From “The listening dimension (orbit 1, orbit 2, and orbit 3)”
Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson “Rainbow Bridge”
KatieKillary_OlafurEliasson_Rainbow Bridge
Trying to get to the “Rainbow Bridge”

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