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Indepth Arts News:

"Olafur Eliasson: The Light Setup"
2005-09-10 until 2006-01-22
Malmo Konsthall
Malmo, , SE Sweden

With a completely new work Olafur Eliasson transforms Malmö Konsthall into a gigantic experiment with light. The larger part of the exhibition space is divided up into different zones in which daylight is intermingled with artificial light. In these zones we can experience the shifts of colour and temperature in both forms of “white” light. The other portion of the gallery space is bathed in an intense yellow light which transports us into a black-and-white world.

In the exhibition Eliasson uses light in a concrete form and provides us with experiences while simultaneously commenting on its history and mythology. A history and mythology that artists in particular have contributed to by trying to capture or portray light – especially our Nordic light. With this new work, Eliasson questions such fundamental issues as what is “real” and “unreal”. At Malmö Konsthall there is no longer anything that is real or unreal.

Eliasson has consistently focused his attention on how we see and perceive the world. By bringing natural phenomena into artificial environments – as he is doing here at Malmö Konsthall, or with the sunset in his The weather project at the Tate Modern in London in 2003 – he challenges us to sharpen our senses and reflect on our own relationship to and understanding of our everyday physical environment.

This autumn’s two exhibitions featuring Olafur Eliasson, at Malmö Konsthall and Lund Konsthall, constitute a joint project. Together they form a whole and offer a unique opportunity to experience Eliasson’s manifold oeuvre. At Lund Konsthall, where a large number of works are being presented, various models and experiments will make the exhibition space resemble a laboratory or artist’s studio, a space which also offers room for the visitor’s own desire to experiment. At Malmö Konsthall the experiment has been enlarged into a giant format and our experience of the work and our presence in it are of central importance. Both exhibitions complement and reinforce each other. They illustrate the intrinsic complexity which exists in all Eliasson’s works – the interplay between experiment, experience, a work of art, and “reality”.

Olafur Eliasson was born in 1967 and lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen. His most recent exhibitions and projects include: Minding the world at ARoS Kunstmuseum in Århus, Denmark in 2004; Your lighthouse at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany in 2004; The weather project at the Tate Modern in London in 2003; The blind pavilion, the Danish pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale; and public commissions in Denmark (the chandeliers for the new opera house in Copenhagen in 2004) and in Sweden (Movement meter for Lernacken at the bridge abutment in Malmö in 2000).

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