The renowned artist returns to Tate Modern this summer with another mesmerizing exhibition, prompting us to think about the world beyond those iconic brick walls.
The year-long anticipation for Eliasson’s return to the Tate has been delivering floods of visitors to the gallery since his critically acclaimed exhibition opened last month, with many saying this is his best yet.
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson first exhibited in the Tate modern in 2003. The weather project was a masterpiece which described how the weather is one of the few fundamental encounters with nature that can still be experienced in the city. It was this installation which first offered an insight into what drives Eliasson’s work, interest in the planet, perception, embodied experience and relevance to society at large. Fast forward 16 years and Eliasson delivers a body of work which is driven by the same interests which now also engage with a broader public sphere to deal with issues such as climate change and sustainability.
Boutique London’s exhibition highlights:
Not keeping to the confinements of the Tate walls, ‘Waterfall’ is the first glimpse of the artists work as you approach the gallery – if you don’t have time to visit the exhibition this alone is worth seeing! Representing the co-existence of construction and nature in cities and the presence of larger natural forces that play upon the built environment. Remember to take an umbrella here if you want to get up close!
Big Bang Fountain
Eliasson’s trademark use of natural elements to create something never seen before is in full swing here. One of the most mesmerising works from the exhibition, Big Bang Fountain is the simple display of water bursts illuminated by a strobe light. As you enter the pitch-black room and witness the ethereal movement it takes a while to realise the abstract shapes and movements are water. Housed within the dark circular room makes the contrast of the bright water even more striking.
Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger)
Queue the showstopper, ‘Your blind passenger’ is the best installation of the exhibition and maybe even our favourite this summer. It’s not clear what is about to happen when you are ushered into a small white room and held for 2 minutes before entering this installation but it is certainly worth that moment of uncertainty when the doors finally open. Upon entering this long, narrow corridor, you are temporarily blinded by a brightly illuminated fog that requires you to rely on other senses for orientation. Once you progress through the space the beautiful pastel hues of fog change, still with no ability to see beyond that colour zone you are still left uncertain of what lies ahead. Unlike any other installation, make sure you hold onto your friends as it’s easy to get lost in here!
One of our favourites, ‘Beauty’ was another nod to nature from Eliasson, the manufactured rainbow room was hard to tear attention away from. In a darkened space, a curtain of fine mist is sprayed from the ceiling into a bright beam of a spotlight. From certain perspectives, a rainbow can be seen in the falling water; it shifts in intensity or disappears as the viewer approaches or moves away. Top tip, you’ll be tempted to walk under the mist so pack a raincoat!
Olafur Eliasson’s ‘In Real Life’ is a must see this summer, packed with over 40 pieces of exceptional work from the renowned artist who put ‘experience’ at the centre of this exhibition. For more information about the artist and work visit the website here.
Rebecca Shaw, Author