Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun, 2012
Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun 2012

In making art, I have always been interested in the difference between looking at art alone and looking at it with other people. In art history, the other people part has never really been thoroughly described, and there was always this pretence that you are more or less alone on the planet. This seems to be the main way for organising reality as well, where egoism and lack of empathy are thriving.

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  • Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project in the Turbien Hall, Tate Modern 16 October 2003 - 21 March 2004

    Olafur Eliasson
    The Weather Project 2003

    © Olafur Eliasson
    Photo:
    © Tate 2003

  • Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern 16 October 2003 - 21 March 2004

    Olafur Eliasson
    The Weather Project 2003

    © Olafur Eliasson
    Photo:
    © Tate 2003

  • Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern 16 October 2003 - 21 March 2004

    Olafur Eliasson
    The weather project, 2003
    Monofrequency lights, projection foil, haze machines, mirror foil, aluminium, and scaffolding
    26,7 m x 22,3 m x 155,4 m
    Installation in Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
    Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson
    Courtesy the artist: neugerriemschneider, Berlin: and Tanya Bonakdar, New York

    © Olafur Eliasson 2003

  • Installation view of Olafur Eliassons The Weather Project 2003

    Olafur Eliasson
    The Weather Project 2003
    Installation view, Turbine Hall at Tate Modern

    Photo: Tate Photography
    © Olafur Eliasson

With The weather project at Tate Modern in 2003, I was lucky to experience a situation in which sharing an experience amplified that experience, and somehow made the experience more explicit. People enjoyed being in the Turbine Hall with others, and the fact that it started something shared – you could almost call it a collective movement – added meaning to the project, where the shared feeling became the protagonist of the project, determining what it actually meant.

Olafur Eliasson, The very large ice floor, 1998

Olafur Eliasson, The very large ice floor, 1998

©Olafur Eliasson

I feel confident about art’s ability to take a responsible role in society when I see that a museum, an art museum, can actually create a space in which both individual experiences and shared experience can be evaluated and realised. I think this is unique to museums and not really possible in other places.

Olafur Eliasson The collectivity project

Olafur Eliasson, The collectivity project 2005

© Olafur Eliasson

In a number of my works, I have tried to address this issue of connectivity or collectivity. Seeing the influence that other people have on your experience is something that I think is highly important for understanding how our society works and could work in better ways.

Olafur Eliasson, Slow-motion shadow in colour, 2009

Olafur Eliasson, Slow-motion shadow in colour, 2009

© Olafur Eliasson

Therefore I have engaged in this hugely ambitious project, Little Sun, where connectivity, from the outset, has been one of the main topics: how one feels when one feels one’s own feelings – a felt feeling.

Comments

patshell

Very rarely somebody would think on such a great concept!! You can say this a union of an artist and art lover... business mobiles