In Olafur Eliasson’s LIFE, nature breaks through into the Beyeler Foundation

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-interior-2-with-people-photo-Mark-Niedermann-cover

In Olafur Eliasson’s LIFE, nature breaks through into the Beyeler Foundation

In the words of its curator, Sam Keller, LIFE, the most recent large-size installation by Olafur Eliasson currently on view at the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, is “…a collective experiment. It
challenges our conventions of art, nature, institution, and life and attempts to dissolve their boundaries.“

Indeed, this work by Eliasson is a consequence of the artist’s “biocentric” approach to all forms of life that inhabit our planet. To realize that human life is inextricably entangled with that of all the creatures around us makes us aware of our vulnerability and that we all share a common fate, thus subverting the anthropocentric perspective we have had for centuries.
This is not the first time that Eliasson explores this theme, as he did it some years ago with the spectacular Riverbed installation at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art where the artist created a river literally running through the rooms of the Danish museum.
With LIFE, Eliasson makes once again nature and artifice “breath together”, the enclosure of the Beyeler Foundation building by Renzo Piano has been partially removed to let “the world” enter into the museum. What is usually kept out – water, plants, and animals – breaks through and invades the world of humans.

Eliasson didn’t prepare an explanatory text to accompany the artwork to avoid influencing the visitors’ perception and to let them contribute to it through “their expectations and memories, thoughts and emotions.” About the relationship between his artwork and the visitors, the artist hopes that they will use all their senses to explore his installation also to perceive the soundscape, the smell of water and plants, and the mist in the air.
As Eliasson says: “ I am giving up control over the artwork, so to speak,
handing it over to human and non-human visitors, to plants, microorganisms, the
weather, the climate – many of these elements that museums usually work very hard to
keep out. Instead, we are trying to welcome everyone and everything in.”

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-exterior-view-photo-Mark-Niedermann

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-interior-with-people-photo-Mark-Niedermann

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-interior-blu-light-photo-Mark-Niedermann

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-interior-blu-light-2-photo-Mark-Niedermann

OLAFUR ELIASSON, LIFE, 2021, installation views: Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2021
Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2021 Olafur Eliasson. Photos: Mark Niedermann“.

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-exterior-view-photo-Pati-Grabowicz

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-exterior-view-vert-photo-Pati-Grabowicz

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-int-view-vertical-photo-Pati-Grabowicz

Olafur-Eliasson-Life-Beyeler-detail-photo-Pati-Grabowicz

OLAFUR ELIASSON, LIFE, 2021, installation views: Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2021
Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2021 Olafur Eliasson. Photos: Pati Grabowicz.

LIFE in a project by Olafur Eliasson and Fondation Beyeler made in collaboration with Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten; the exhibition is curated by Sam Keller.

The exhibition, physically on show at the Fondation Beyeler in Bern, can also be seen online at https://life.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/ and in live streaming at https://olafureliasson.net/life/

LIFE – until July 2021
Fondation Beyeler
Baselstrasse 101
CH-4125 Riehen / Basel, Switzerland
https://www.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/

Photos courtesy of Fondation Beyeler, all rights reserved.


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copyright Inexhibit 2021 - ISSN: 2283-5474