The Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris opened last Wednesday 17th the second phase of the activity programme scheduled since it´s inauguration, with the presentation of “Contact”, an immersive exhibition by Olafur Eliasson that explores the relations between spectators, exhibition space and the universe, within the microcosmos that the artist has originated for the Foundation. It will be on view from December 17th until February 16th, 2015.
Conceived specifically for Fondation Louis Vuitton, the artworks in “Olafur Eliasson: Contact” appear as a sequence of events along a journey. Moving through passageways and expansive installations, visitors become part of a choreography of darkness, light, geometry, and reflections.
Along the way, optical devices, models, and a meteorite reflect Eliasson’s on-going investigations into the mechanisms of perception and the construction of space. The exhibition addresses the relations between body, movement, and the sense of self, between people and their surroundings.
These works conform his first solo exhibition in France since the one presented in 2002 in the Paris Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville. Eliasson continues his investigation about our means of perception and space construction, the exhibition takes us to the limits of our knowledge and the sensory capacity of our imagination and our expectations; addresses the horizons and barriers of the known and the unknown.
It has resulted in an ambiguous, confusing, almost elastic space, an environment that every glance may perceive differently, because with Eliasson there is no rules, neither there are in nature or in meteorology (we can recall his interest on it with “The weather project”). He believes in the freedom of every spectator to live different and even contradictory experiences in the museum; he also believes in the value of illusion and which is only a suggestion. He had argued sometime that there is no nature, we can only refer to it as a personal construction.
In the one of the exhibition room´s ceiling, the artist has displayed a machine able to follow the evolution of the sun path, and, in certain moments of the day, direct the sun light toward a geometric shaped sculture that is a part of the exhibion.
“Contact can be a greeting, a smile, the feeling of another person’s hand in your hand.
To be in contact is to be in touch with the good things in life as well as with the difficult things in life.
Contact is not a picture, it is not a representation; it is about your ability to reach out, connect, and perhaps even put yourself in another person’s place.
For me, contact is where inclusion begins.”
Science and Nature are not strange in the work of this Copenhaghe born artist, that has included light, water, ice and lava in his materials, and has shown interest for the landscape and the context of a great number of his works. He also has also ventured into the utopian philosophies and architecture: he is the author of the outer colonnade that opens the Foundation sensory exhibition.
Last October, after twelve years of works (100 million euros investment), the Vuitton Foundation opened in Paris. It has 11,000 square meters, was designed by Frank O. Gehry and seeks to fill the gap that the Arnault family (Louis Vuitton owners), think, there is between the avant-garde art shows that the Centre Pompidou and the most focused on experimental and process that the Palais de Tokyo offers. The new center is directed by Suzanne Pagé, who has referred to the museum as “a dramatic and unprecedented poetic, lyrical space, which will serve artistic creation and intellectual reflection.”
Born in 1967, Olafur Eliasson grew up in Iceland and Denmark. His artworks – including sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation – have been exhibited throughout the world.
Not limited to the museum and gallery context, his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects and interventions in civic space. In this way, Eliasson strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large.
Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin, comprises architects, craftsmen, specialised technicians, archivists, administrators, art historians, web and graphic designers, film-makers, and cooks.
Images by Iwan Baan.