7

In the studio of...

Olafur Eliasson

 

Meeting with Olafur Eliasson in his studio

A giant sunset at Tate Modern, a cascade under a bridge in New York – for 30 years now, Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has been wowing the world with his monumental works. Numéro met up with him in his studio in Berlin.

L’atelier de l’artiste, véritable laboratoire pour ses expériences artistiques, voit s’affairer actuellement 90 collaborateurs.

How would you say your origins and the cultural background you grew up in have shaped your identity and taste?

 

Both the experience of nature in Iceland and the light conditions there have been key in shaping my understanding of ephemerality and atmosphere. Growing up in Denmark, I was strongly influenced by the ideals of the Scandinavian model of a welfare state, by feeling that 

I was part of a caring economy, and by an explicit feeling of interdependence.

 

Who inspired you? What were your references in art?

 

My father was a fisherman and landscape painter in Iceland.

 

Do you consider yourself a sculptor?

 

I work in whatever medium is appropriate to the topics I want to explore – film, architecture, installation, photography or painting. Taking a deep breath can be as much of a sculpture as anything.

 

Can you talk about the site-specific piece you produced for the Fondation Louis Vuitton?

 

Inside the Horizon is a work to be entered – you have to move through it. This brings time into the art experience. I believe that art is as much of time as of space. By
walking through the work, you experience its kaleidoscopic qualities, focusing not only on where you are and what you are, but also on the surroundings.

 

You often work with light. How does one work with a non-physical material?

 

I work with immaterial phenomena a lot to prompt people to consider and reconsider how they perceive and understand the world. I’m interested in questioning what it means to live and act in our societies today. I have always considered light to be more than just something that illuminates things. It has a powerful impact on our lives. I’ve worked hard to make this explicit in my Little Sun project (www.littlesun.com), which is a social business, a global movement, and a portable solar-powered lamp. With it, I hope to bring light to people who don’t have reliable access to the electrical grid.

 

You’re planning a new show for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Can you tell us about it?

 

The show is about blindness and the absence of matter, feeling present in the world, in orbit, encountering others, and measuring space. It deals with the origin of ideas before they take shape in language.

 

Will you interact with the building?

 

We only ever experience artworks within a context, and for me, the context always becomes part of the work. So I always consider the site where I’m exhibiting in depth while making my art and planning an exhibition.

 

How do you prepare a new exhibition?

 

I create a model of reality, and thereby remodel reality. The model is real. I find this fascinating.

 

Who would you say you’re addressing?

 

I’m confident that art and creativity can effect real change in the world, which is why I am increasingly engaging with audiences and contexts outside the arts. Creativity offers an astounding toolbox for rethinking the world. Ideally, there should be artists in the parliaments and politicians in art schools.

 

 

Olafur Eliasson at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, 17 December 2014–16 Febrary 2015.

 

Exposition Olafur Eliasson à la Fondation Louis Vuitton, du 17 décembre 2014 au 16 février 2015.

Tomás Saraceno's spiders at the Palais de Tokyo
843

Tomás Saraceno's spiders at the Palais de Tokyo

Art His Berlin atelier houses one of the most important collections of spider’s webs in the world – which is perhaps only normal given that Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno, born in 1973, has become famous for the spider’s webs that he exhibits in open metal cubes. Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is currently giving him carte blanche. His Berlin atelier houses one of the most important collections of spider’s webs in the world – which is perhaps only normal given that Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno, born in 1973, has become famous for the spider’s webs that he exhibits in open metal cubes. Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is currently giving him carte blanche.

Maurizio Cattelan gets into copy (in art) with Gucci
978

Maurizio Cattelan gets into copy (in art) with Gucci

Art Ever more committed to supporting contemporary art, Gucci and its creative director Alessandro Michele have invited artist Maurizio Cattelan to curate a thought-provoking Shanghai show about copies. Ever more committed to supporting contemporary art, Gucci and its creative director Alessandro Michele have invited artist Maurizio Cattelan to curate a thought-provoking Shanghai show about copies.

FIAC 2018 : Katharina Grosse's bonfire of colour at the Grand Palais
978

FIAC 2018 : Katharina Grosse's bonfire of colour at the Grand Palais

Art Katharina grosse transforms the world with her spray gun. Born in 1961, the german artist has splattered many a prestigious museum with her violent colours, as well as her own bedroom and even a house. She’s now been invited by the villa médicis in rome, home to the french academy, which she’s transformed into an explosive landscape made up of trunks of a pine tree planted over a century ago by ingres. Katharina grosse transforms the world with her spray gun. Born in 1961, the german artist has splattered many a prestigious museum with her violent colours, as well as her own bedroom and even a house. She’s now been invited by the villa médicis in rome, home to the french academy, which she’s transformed into an explosive landscape made up of trunks of a pine tree planted over a century ago by ingres.

Elmgreen & Dragset storm Place Vendôme: "Will humanity disappear to give way to nature?"
587

Elmgreen & Dragset storm Place Vendôme: "Will humanity disappear to give way to nature?"

Art Star fish have invaded the place vendôme! Who is responsible? Why elmgreen & dragset of course! Numéro art met up with the explosive duo, who are guests of honour at paris’s art fair fiac this autumn. Star fish have invaded the place vendôme! Who is responsible? Why elmgreen & dragset of course! Numéro art met up with the explosive duo, who are guests of honour at paris’s art fair fiac this autumn.

Numéro art reveals new cover starring artists Elmgreen & Dragset
874

Numéro art reveals new cover starring artists Elmgreen & Dragset

Art Discover Elmgreen & Dragset shot by Miles Aldridge for the cover of Numero art #3, out October 12th. Elmgreen & Dragset are taking over the place Vendôme during the FIAC and will be celebrated at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Plus, do not miss their current show at Whitechapel Gallery in London.  Discover Elmgreen & Dragset shot by Miles Aldridge for the cover of Numero art #3, out October 12th. Elmgreen & Dragset are taking over the place Vendôme during the FIAC and will be celebrated at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Plus, do not miss their current show at Whitechapel Gallery in London. 

Frieze London 2018 pays tribute to female artists with “Social Work”
874

Frieze London 2018 pays tribute to female artists with “Social Work”

Art During Frieze London, from 3 october to 7, a group of ten female critics and curators pays tribute to women artists whose work during the 1980s created broader support structures for those around them under the title Social Work. Curators Lydia Yee, Fatoş Üstek and Melanie Keen discuss three of the artists featured in Social Work, and suggest why it is important to re-assess their legacy three decades later. During Frieze London, from 3 october to 7, a group of ten female critics and curators pays tribute to women artists whose work during the 1980s created broader support structures for those around them under the title Social Work. Curators Lydia Yee, Fatoş Üstek and Melanie Keen discuss three of the artists featured in Social Work, and suggest why it is important to re-assess their legacy three decades later.