"YOUR BLIND PASSENGER" by Olafur Eliason

"YOUR BLIND PASSENGER" by Olafur Eliason

Tate Modern in London just shows a new exhibition of Olafur Eliason, called “In real life”. The body of work includes immerse installations, sculptures, photography and paintings.

The materials Eliason uses is a range of moss, fog, light and reflective metals. There are three particular interests of Eliason:

  • his concern about nature

  • his research into geometry

  • and an ongoing investigation how we perceive, feel about shape in the world around us.

With his art Eliasson hopes, that the viewer will become more aware of his senses, aware of people around us - to form a temporary community -, and an awareness to ourself that creates a new kind of responsibility.

It’s 9 years ago, since I experienced the art of Olafur Eliason in Berlin. His work left a deep impression on me. The way he awakes your senses to experience art is unique.

For example, when you walk through the installation room of the “The blind passenger” - you start to experience to use and trust your senses. You don’t see a lot, because of the changing light and fog around you. This is not just an experience about trusting your guts about orientation, it’s also the feeling of the fog on your skin and how fog can smell...

I do remember, that in Berlin the room for the installation was huge. Sometimes I felt lost, with all the fog around me and it was weird when a stranger stood 1 m in front of you coming out of the fog. Finding the exit was very difficult and so I needed to interact with people to get outside the room.

The exhibition in London shows also his installation “BEAUTY” from 1993. In a dark space Nozzles were attached, to a punctured hose spray of a curtain of fine mist from the ceiling. 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. Old and young people experimented this installation in different ways. Some of them were touching the spray, walking through the falling water or kids had just fun running around.

A total different experience was his installation "THE MOSS WALL" from 1994. He shows Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina), a lichen native to countries in the northern latitudes including Iceland, which is woven into a wire mesh and mounted on the wall of a gallery. As the lichen dries, it shrinks and fades; when the installation is watered, the moss expands, changes colours again, and fills the space with its fragrance. The viewers are invited to feel, touch and smell the moss... 

When was the last time you were in nature, holding a leaf in your hand and smelled it. "Smells act on the brain like a drug,” says neurologist Dr Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Smells stimulate nerves in the nose that send impulses to the brain. These impulses usually go to the brain’s limbic system which controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance. So certain smell can help you to make you well - isn't that fantastic?

Eliasons art is an immense experience and will help you reflect an focus more on your senses and makes you sensible for the environment around you.

The real life exhibition just started to show at Londons Tate Modern and will go till Jan. 5th. It is a bit pricey - but I can highly recommend this exhibition. It is worth every penny. I am sure I will see it again at the end of the year, when I am back in London.