Eliasson and Contemporary Art
Eliasson and Contemporary Art. Art.
. Art.

Eliasson and Contemporary Art

“Breathe now. Take a deep breath. Simply breathing can help us feel an awareness of where we are and what we are doing. A pause. Break. Caesura.”

Discovering Olafur Eliasson

The first time I saw Olafur's work was by chance. I was looking for references for my final degree project, and that's when I came across the piece Tree of codes.

When I saw what they had created, 'a multimedia dance performance,' I was quite thrilled. I think at that moment, I realized that what I wanted to do for my entire life was work on projects that combine art and technology.

Of course, I also took the opportunity to see Eliasson's work, and I completely fell in love.

What I like about his work is that he deals with concepts related to light, colour, reflections, perception, illusions, involving the viewer in the artwork... He also tries to address social issues related to migration crises, sustainable energy, etc.

Akademie X Lessons in art + life

The phrase with which I began this post is from the book Akademie X Lessons in art + life.

It's a book that includes a collection of contemporary artists who share their advice on art, their thoughts on how to be an artist, what they think about art... Specifically, there are 36 artists, and each one speaks freely about art and how they live as artists.

The reason I decided to buy this book was because Eliasson is one of the 'mentors,' and the book starts with Marina Abramović (whose work I also find interesting), so it seemed like a good way to discover more artists.

So, when the book arrived, I couldn't resist starting with the 6 pages about Eliasson. It's not a lot of content, but the way he presents his perspective on life, education, and art got me thinking about different ideas... And I decided to share it in this post.

"We believe in risking vulnerability and practising robust discomfort of uncertainty. A shared vulnerability is important. We believe in getting out of our comfort zone."

- LOVE LETTER from us. Olafur Eliasson, Eric Ellingsen, Christina Werner

Mi opinion about contemporary art

DAfter taking a quick look at the book, what came to my mind is the general perception people have about contemporary art. From my point of view, and thinking about those around me, the two words that come to mind when I hear 'contemporary art' are: "controversy" and "bullshit". Before continuing with this topic, I want to clarify that this is my opinion, and I want to share what I think about this and how this type of art has inspired me.

I began to take a greater interest in art exhibitions after my first visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. I visited it two years in a row, and all the exhibitions seemed fantastic to me. My favorites were Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Yoko Ono.

Half a room – Yoko Ono
Hulk (Organ) – Jeff Koons
Glenn - Basquiat

The first time I began to think, 'What is art?' and 'Where is the limit?' was with a work by the English artist Damien Hirst. A few years ago, I was with my family at the Tate Modern in London, visiting the free exhibition area. Suddenly, a little girl appeared, asking if I wanted tickets for the paid exhibition area, which she was giving away because she and her family had decided not to go. We accepted the gift, and after entering the exhibition and seeing the first work, we understood why they had decided not to go in... In this video they explain the work by Hirst that we saw upon entering: A Thousand Years. I've chosen not to include images; anyone curious can watch the video

I want to say that it's one of the exhibitions I'll never forget. It was in that moment that I realised how I perceived art and that art could be a great source of inspiration in my life. I heard the typical phrases like 'Is that art?' or 'My child could do that', 'I don't understand it'... But with Hirst's work, which completely shocked me, I feel that art is a space of freedom, where most artists want to make people think about a certain subject or create different kinds of emotions (positive or negative), and this seems incredibly powerful to me.

As Olafur said in the book Akademia X Breath now. Take a deep breath. I feel that contemporary works of art are a space (or moment) where I can take a breathe, open my mind, and feel where I am. And in doing so, try to discover what that work can bring to my life.