Eliasson: Collective Engagement

Eliasson: Collective Engagement

Art has the potential to make ideas tangible. Icelandic-Danish practitioner Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) aims to turn abstract concepts into palpable structures, engaging with the broader public sphere through architectural projects and interventions in civic space. The artist investigates notions of perception, movement, embodied experience and the self through diverse approaches including sculpture, painting, photography, film and installation. Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, invites the interdisciplinary specialist to create a site-specific work for its Theater Gallery, a distinctive 13,500 square-foot space.

Reality projector forges a relationship between projected light and the existing structure, creating a dynamic shadow play that transforms the area into a three dimensional moving image. By referencing the gallery’s former function as a theatre – as well as the locale’s rich history of filmmaking – the piece offers dialogues between past and present. Founder Maurice Marciano describes the show as a “unique and immersive art viewing experience”, inviting the visitor to fully experience the sublimity of the arena.

The captivating and shared nature of this exhibition fits in to Eliasson’s wider oeuvre, which features contributions such as The Weather Project, an illusory commission which occupied Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as part of the annual Unilever series in 2003. The interactive installation recreates a weather system indoors, featuring a monumental “sun” radiating a pervasive orange glow. As in Reality projector, a series of lights – accompanied by a network of mirrors and a fabricated fine mist – forms the basis of the mirage, enabling the artwork to engage with environmental issues, notions of the collective and the role of the institution.

Reality projector runs From 1 March. Find out more: www.marcianoartfoundation.org.

1. The Weather Project, 2003, Monofrequency lights, projection foil, haze machines, mirror foil, aluminium, and scaffolding, 26.7×22.3×155.4m, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London. Photo: Olafur Eliasson / Tate, London