"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. 

5 reasons why I stick with my Leica Q - instead buying the Leica M10

The last few weeks I received more and more requests from you asking " Should I get the new Leica M10 or stick with the Leica Q?". I decided to write a blog post for you, which may help you to decide.

I have a Leica Q since day one. The people who read my blog, know that the Leica Q and I haven't been in love at first sight. But with time and lot of patience, the Leica Q became a unique camera for me with a brilliant image quality.

In the beginning of this year, I had some sensor issues with the Q. Leica Wetzlar was so kind to lend me the brand new M10 with a 35mm Summilux while my Q was being repaired. I was in heaven and enjoyed every second shooting with the M10 - on the same site I started missing the Leica Q. The M10 with the 35mm Summilux is magic and so I started to be caught in a dilemma. Should I sell my Leica Q and get a M10 instead? 

Shots with the Leica M10 and 35mm Summilux

Here are 5 reasons which helped me to make my decision:

#focal length & Image quality
I love to shoot 28 & 35mm. The Leica Q with its fixed 28mm lens gives me both possibilities. I don't mind if the 35mm is in cropped mode. I do shoot mostly architecture, documentary or street photography. For this, the Leica Q is the perfect match. I can get very close to my subjects or use perfectly the wide angle lens. The image quality is superb - and the colour and B&W rendering of the Q is top of the notch! 

The 28mm Summilux fixed lens is the perfect match on the Leica Q. I have shot with many different Leica Summilux lenses on the M Body. But I never have been happier with the result like the one of the Leica Q. I don't know what Leica has done! This lens is magic, fast and sharp! The colour and B&W rendering are so aesthetic and there is no need to do a lot of post-processing.

Of course, a 35mm or 50mm Summilux could give you the same result - but just the lenses cost around 4000€ ...

#silent shutter
There is not much to say about the silent shutter. Compared to the Leica M10 it is so silent, that in nearly any situation you wouldn't be noticed while taking a picture.

#Manual & AF
I am a big fan of shooting with the manual focus on a Rangefinder. I always get really fast and precise results. But shooting all day long with a Rangefinder can make your eyes pretty tired. Then it is helpful to have an autofocus. Shooting with the Leica Q gives you both possibilities. It took me a while to get used to the manual focus of the Q, but with some patience it works really good. Most of the time I use the Zone Focusing, but if I am too lazy, the Q gives me the possibility to switch to the AF mode, which is fast and precise.

Last but not least - the prize! Shooting with a Leica is pure luxury. With a Leica camera, you will not make better pictures like with any other camera from another brand. But if you have the money and want the Leica experience you should first ask yourself what kind of images you want to shoot and do you need to shoot with different focal lengths. 

The new Leica M10 is a brilliant camera, but the body already costs 6.850 €! With one Summilux lens on top, you have to invest around 10.000 €! This is a lot of money! The Leica Q costs already 4.190 € with the 28mm fixed Summilux. 

Shots made with the Leica Q

Final thoughts
After a lot of thinking I decided to stick with my Leica Q. The Q is the more modern camera with an amazing image quality and a fantastic lens. So why should I change my system? The Leica M10 might have one or two stops better ISO, but for me, it is not worth to pay around 6000 € extra. With the Leica Q I am able to get nearly the same results. 

Another important reason for me is, that travelling with a combo of 10.000 € makes me feel very attentive that nobody steals my camera. With the Leica Q, I don't have that feeling. The Leica Q is a light and trusty travel companion. This camera helps you to grow as a photographer. Even after owning the Q around 2 years - I still learn new things about using the camera and I really enjoy this experience.

Finally, I hope that I could give you some aspects to make your decision. Both cameras are amazing and if money doesn't matter, I am sure you will be very happy with both cameras.

If you have further questions, just get in touch with me. I am always happy to help. Best, nicole