Denmark | Olafur Eliasson at the Louisiana
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Curatorial Coordinator: Eva Lund
Project Manager: Poul Hasbeck
Conservator / Exhibition Producer: Ulrik Staal Strange Dinesen
Exhibition Planning: Studio Olafur Eliasson
Images courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Riverbed | Olaf Eliasson at the Louisiana museum of modern art | Humlebæk, Denmark
If you combine the work of Olafur Eliasson and the Louisiana museum the outcome hardly can be wrong. Eliasson is one of the most inspirational contemporary artists, and his attention to the relationships between landscape, art, architecture and interaction with people matches the peculiar spirit of the Louisiana. Indeed the Danish museum was founded to provide its visitors with a complex, comprehensive experience made also of exposed artworks but, at least equally, of nature, architecture and emotional engagement.
Riverbed is a site-specific artwork commissioned by Louisiana to the Danish-Icelandic artist to be located in the museum’s south wing, designed in 1982 by architects Bo and Wohlert as a sequence of “ascending” rooms where once a sloped garden was.
The response by Olafur Eliasson is an “invasion” by landscape of the Louisiana spaces, a sculptural installation that pushes the museum’s physical capabilities to the limit.
A rocky landscape, crossed by a river, spans across the whole wing, people travel along the rooms by literally walking on the installation.
Inspired by his walks in the Icelandic landscape, Riverbed is made not only of rocks and water, but of the visitors’ bodily movement as well. By moving on the unstable rocky ground, somehow struggling to ascend it, people bear off the passive, static, contemplation of art and establish an interaction between artwork and public and, in a broader sense, between the museum and its visitors.
Eliasson “walk” also reinforces one of the inspiring principles of the Louisiana architecture, based on a dynamic sequence of indoor spaces, outdoor areas and surrounding landscape, where movement is a fundamental component of the experience.
Thus, the artist’s work is truly capable here to achieve a full combination of “genius loci”, art and active people’s interaction, as well as to interpret and even enhance the peculiar sensory experience the Louisiana provides and, at least, “returns it to its starting point: the gallery is again primarily a place where we walk”. *
When I walk or drive through the Icelandic landscape, I sense the surroundings and sense myself searching for sense. This vast landscape is like a test site that nurtures ideas and helps me process them into felt feelings –maybe even into art. (Olafur Eliasson)
* Marie Laurberg, from the Olafur Eliasson Riverbed exhibition catalogue
Olafur Eliasson exhibition Riverbed
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
20 August 2014 — 4 January 2015
Article by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit.
Exhibition photos by Anders Sune Berg. Photo of the Graphic Wing seen from the park.
by Poul Buchard / Brøndum & Co.
All images courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a Danish museum in Humlebæk, 25 miles north of Copenhagen, world-famous for both its collection and its sculpture park
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