Olafur Eliasson and Günther Vogt: Your Glacial Expectations
Olafur Eliasson, Günther Vogt
Thames & Hudson, 2017
Your Glacial Expectations, a collaboration between landscape architect Günther Vogt and artist Olafur Eliasson, refers in its design to the glaciers that formed the landscape around the Kvadrat headquarters, as can still be seen in the site’s topography and geology. The project does not end at the property boundaries, but incorporates the entire surrounding landscape. Building and parking lot have been integrated into the landscape.
Set directly in the rambling meadows, Eliasson’s five mirrors form a series ranging from a perfect circle to ever more elongated ellipses. The mirrors reflect the ever-changing sky above and the contemplator’s own gaze, as if in the surfaces of glacial pools in Iceland. The sky opens up in the soil beneath the viewer.
This blurring of the boundaries between above and below, inside and out, finds resonance in the landscape’s melding of wilderness and garden. The dense and clearly delineated groups of trees, planted by Vogt on slight elevations, may appear to be cultivated gardens from a distance. Up close, they are in fact slices of untended wilderness. Although one might expect to be allowed to enter the wild groves, fences deny access – they are Gardens of Eden that cannot be entered.
The sheep that graze the meadows are not native to the site. Part of Eliasson’s vision, they were specially brought in from Iceland for Your Glacial Expectations.