Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life at Tate Modern
World-renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson returns to the Tate Modern, following his previous installation The Weather Project (2003), with a mesmerising exhibit that presents an exciting practice spanning over three decades. Showcasing work that has never been seen in the UK as well as new pieces specially made for the exhibition, the gallery invites us to step into the world and process of one of the most exciting artists today.
This new show consists of multiple rooms that play with our senses and perception, inviting the audience to interact with the work for an engaging viewing experience. With immersive opportunities including touching a wall covered in Scandinavian reindeer moss and walking through a corridor full of beautifully lit fog, Eliasson not only dramatises the beauty of nature but crafts a playground for his viewers. This playground, however, is not a collection of gimmicks but instead an experience that explores space and bodies in connection with the artist’s work. The exhibition, while being fun to explore, promotes a sense of self-consciousness, asking participants to take a step back and question one’s place in nature. Current environmental issues lie within the art’s subtext; as you walk through the exhibit you are confronted by nature’s beauty as well as the realisation that it is fleeting.
Eliasson shares his love for the Icelandic landscape as well as his position as an activist throughout the show. The exhibit concludes with a space named The Expanded Studio that shows not only the process of the subject’s studio but also his engagement with environmental issues. While passion is clearly part of his process, a sense of urgency is missing regarding these issues as the exhibition concludes: it’s almost cathartic, instead of a call to arms to stop climate change.
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life is beautiful and enlightening. Not only does it show the talent of the artist but opens the conversation about our carbon footprint, which is vital in today’s climate.
Photos: Erol Birsen
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life is at Tate Modern from 11th July until 5th January 2020. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.