On 20 August 2014 Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens its doors for the first solo exhibition of the Danish- Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The main work in the exhibition, a giant landscape, will unfold throughout the South Wing of the museum in one great sweep as a major intervention in the museum’s usual administration of art in space, affording the viewer the opportunity to think about the aesthetic experience as more than just the encounter between the visitor and works on the floor or walls.
Since the beginning of the collaboration it has been clear that a solo exhibition of Eliasson’s work at Louisiana would inevitably be a radical, site-specific exhibition dealing with the reality of the museum as an institution and physical locality, and at the same time would focus on local sensory experience in a global perspective. The transitions between inside and outside, culture and staged nature will become fluid and transitory – and the progress of the visitor through the museum will take centre stage.
Eliasson’s exhibition will be an enhancement of our gaze at the museum, at ourselves and at the world.
Although Olafur Eliasson’s stone landscape may look like a stress-test of Louisiana’s physical capacity, it is a manifestation of the fundamental idea of the museum: to subject itself to something that both challenges the expectations of everyday life and puts it into perspective. In this case the empty landscape can perhaps restore to us a time and space purged of information and meaning. We can breathe for a moment; no one expects anything special from us – we are in an agenda-free zone.
Presence at an exhibition has taken on a new meaning with Olafur Eliasson’s Riverbed. We are both at the exhibition and on the exhibition… Movement through park and space in Humlebæk has always been at the heart of the experience – the architects have made sure of that, and Eliasson wishes to profile this as the most important feature at Louisiana. Everything can start from this point.
The model room of the exhibition shows one kind of beginning – the model in which the world stands still for a moment; while in the cinema, in the museum’s Hall Gallery, we are received into its physically unfolding flow: a variety of experiences, a variety of modes of presence, all with a sensory impact.
Model room, 2003
The model room in the North Wing of the museum is in constant development – for new models/projects are constantly being added. Eliasson has developed the comprehensive collection of geometrical models in close collaboration with the Icelandic artist Einar Thorsteinn. The model room is a gaze into the artist’s intellectual workshop.
Your embodied garden, 2013
Movement microscope, 2011
Innen Stadt Aussen, 2010
In the Large Hall of the museum three video works are shown, each in its own way about movement. In Movement microscope we follow a group of dancers in Olafur Eliasson’s studio on what is otherwise an ordinary working day. In Your embodied garden Eliasson explores a Chinese garden in Suzhou through the minimal movements of the choreographer Steen Koerner. In Innen Stadt Aussen we get a double portrait of Berlin in motion.
￼Contact is content, 2014
At the top of the South Wing is a library with a wide array of Olafur Eliasson’s art books, access to the artist’s new website with an extensive archive of his works, and a new book produced for the exhibition. The book Contact is content features landscape photographs taken on Iceland in the years 1986-2013, along with other selected works.
The exhibition is supported by the Ny Carlsbergfondet and Realdania. The exhibition is also supported by Zumtobel and Kvadrat.