Olafur Eliasson: 'In Real Life' at London's TATE Modern
August 03 2019
Danish Icelandic artist questions our action as individuals facing climate emergency.
After many major shows, such as the ice installation last year in London city, Danish-Icelandic artist, Olaf Eliasson, questions our place in a world facing climate emergency. Doing so, Olaf also defines what is art today, what it means to be an artist at this particular period of time and what it implies to be a spectator and an actor of his pieces.
Integrated to his retrospective at the London Tate, in one of the final rooms of the show, he states:
“We need to move beyond the failure-success dichotomy to embrace new, non-quantifiable criteria for what is a good work of art.”
This implies he makes art with a political engagement and believes we spectators should read his work as also entering the world of geopolitics and more specifically of climate emergency – from food production to fossil fuel. Therefore, his art just as the melting ice show in London city, aims to change the way we perceive the world, its ice, its air, the technologies we produce, by displaying these realities in a way that sensitives us and connects us to our environment. Olaf states about his ice installation:
"The ice is amazingly beautiful – you can smell it, you can kiss it, and essentially put your hands on it and touch Greenland (...) I think it matters for people to actually put their ear to the ice and suddenly realise that has a very subtle cracking, hopping, crisp noise because the melting releases pressure bubbles that have been stuck in the ice for 10,000 years (...) Ten thousand years ago there was 30 per cent less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so the smell of the ice blocks should be the smell of the air from 10,000 years ago."
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life
Ongoing exhibition until January 5th 2020
Bankside, London SE1 9TG, Royaume-Uni
+44 20 7887 8888
Exhibition has been organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Exhibition curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern with Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate Modern