Video: Olafur Eliasson - Playing with space and light

An international artist whose work bridges art and architecture, Olafur Eliasson offers an inspiring way of looking at space and causing people to interact with and perceive the spaces around them in a unique way. His experimental work uses natural elements and phenomena - water, light, fog, ice, etc. - to express his ideas, while focusing on movement and how that alters our perception. Time is also an important element in his art, once again causing viewers to perceive things in a new perspective. Usually he works at a large scale, with installations ranging from a series of waterfalls in the rivers surrounding Manhattan to an installation of a giant setting sun shrouded by fog in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Gallery in London. From

In the spectacular large-scale projects he's famous for (such as "Waterfalls" in New York harbor), Olafur Eliasson creates art from a palette of space, distance, color and light. This idea-packed talk begins with an experiment in the nature of perception.

Denmark-born Icelander Olafur Eliasson has taken the art world by storm -- and the meteorological dimensions of that statement are appropriate. His immensely popular The Weather Project, at London's Tate Museum, immersed spectators in an artificial mirrored environment with its own looming sun (and its own analog of London fog), and attracted 2 million visitors in the process. In the summer of 2008, his four massive waterfalls spectacularly punctuated key sites in New York's harbor -- including one pouring from beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

Eliasson's works emphasize tricks of light, refraction and scale, and tend to involve each viewer in his or her own unique experience, as in Beauty, which, by passing light through a wall of fine mist, produces a different rainbow when viewed from different points in the gallery. And his works engage passers-by in urban environments -- Eye See You, a project for Louis Vuitton (and meant to publicize 121 Ethiopia, an African nonprofit Eliasson co-founded with his wife), grabs viewers in the street with a beam of light shot from the window by an eye-shaped lamp.
"Many of his best-known works explore architecture and the mechanics of perception, almost as if the fantastical imaginings of Buckminster Fuller were reinterpreted by a cognitive scientist."
- Michael Joseph Gross, New York magazine

If you are interested in more information about Olafur Eliasson and his artwrok check out these books: Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, Studio Olafur Eliasson: An Encyclopedia, Olafur Eliasson (Contemporary Artists)


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