Monday, April 12, 2010

Olafur Eliasson's "Beauty"

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney recently showcased Olafur Eliasson's past works and I was lucky enough to pay a visit. I'll be doing a series of posts focusing on some of the pieces I saw.

The works included the hypnotic and dreamlike "Beauty", a light sculpture/installation consisting of a spotlight shone on a slow descending spray of fine mist. Think of the Northern Lights. The piece creates haunting images of the supernatural, the light becoming representations of the spirit and the soul, the faint colours of the rainbow showing the diversity of the people whose the spirits once inhabited.

But then you stand on the other side of the room, and we lose all of that, instead we see more of the mist, the light is more white and the black more black. Feels like being underneath a floating waterfall somewhere in space.

Then you start interacting with the mist. You walk underneath it and instant flashback to childhood - playing soccer during an autum drizzle. Carwashing for pocket money. Waiting for mum to pick you up at school because you forgot your umbrella at home.

This is one of my favourites, because it feels so surreal yet real at the same time. It's nature turned on its head, becoming man-made. Humans playing Mother Nature.

It's such a simple idea yet an ingenious one.

Pictures from : 1


  1. It was a good exhibit. "Beauty" was indeed an engaging piece, and the changing patterns in the mist really captured people.

    I also really liked the room with the three spotlights and the mirrors reflecting in the floor. As someone interested in science, I found following the geometry of the reflections really engaging.

  2. I liked the mirror/spotlights piece too. It felt like I was in an alternate reality, and that I was the reflection.



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