About Eliasson's work in general
Eliasson’s art is in the nature of inquiries based on thorough research in the scientific tradition. His work bears a certain resemblance to Conceptual Art, which also focused on investigative and analytical aspects of art. From that starting point, Eliasson’s works lead the viewer back to the origin of perception, its base in the body with which we sense and interact with the world around us.
At the same time, Eliasson’s work reveals a fascination with the aesthetic aspect of art. Each of his works embodies a balance between beauty, natural romanticism and scientific inquiry.
Embodied in an abstract and innovative vocabulary of forms, Eliasson’s works challenge the viewer’s view of herself and the reality surrounding her. His complex, sensual installations are experimental situations opening up varied and conflicting perspectives on art, subjectivity and the world around us. Inviting the viewer to engage with these complex environments, Eliasson’s works create a framework for new ways of interacting with the world. By pointing out that any reflection on our present reality starts with self-reflection, his works present an ideal point of departure for developing new ideas and conceptions.
The work is you, the viewerEliasson locates us, the viewers, in the moment, in the here and now. We are both subject and object of the work. Often, as is also the case with ARKEN’s new acquisition, Eliasson’s works stage a temporal dimension: we sense and understand his works through the time we take to experience them. Many directly incorporate motion, urging us to physically move in order to get a full sense of the work. Eliasson explores how we think, see and perceive, how we are physically present in the room. In turn, the viewer exploring the work becomes a big part of it. The artist once said, “My work is you – the viewer.”
Accordingly, Eliasson belongs among the kind of art that, since the 1960s, has made the viewer an important part of the work. In sculptures and installations, artists since Minimalism have endeavored to physically incorporate the viewer into the work and make her aware of the significance of her body – not just her eyes – in perceiving art. The artist operates as a stager of situations that explore the relationship between artwork and viewer.