Olafur Eliasson: Symbiotic Seeing (Kunsthaus Zürich)
Donna J. Haraway, Caroline Jones, Josefine Klougart, Bruno Latour, Lynn Margulis, Timothy Morton
Kunsthaus Zürich & Snoeck Publishers, 2020
Following the spectacular exhibition of his work in London, Olafur Eliasson (*1967) will be presenting at the beginning of 2020 an entirely new installation specifically developed for the Kunsthaus Zürich. It is precisely these large-sized works by the Danish-Icelandic artist that attract viewers as if by magic. Olafur Eliasson points out that his core interest is the experience of the physical encounter with the work itself. For years, he has been one of the most important contemporary artists addressing early on the theme of sustainability and now appeals to a large number of viewers with his themes on ecological issues. The book and exhibition therefore revolve around our relationship with other species and life forms on Earth. Olafur Eliasson’s advocacy of a worldview of coexistence and collaboration becomes ever more apparent when he transforms the museum space into an immersive installation engaging our senses. We are reminded of scientific arrangements that explore physical natural phenomena such as light, water, movement and reflection, without remaining in the abstract or formal framework of purely scientific experiments. The immediate experiential space that the artist creates in generating an enduring resonating body on themes such as climate change, migration and the exploitation of our planet’s resources. Olafur Eliasson succeeds in translating these essential questions and social concerns into a formal language that not only appeals to the viewers’ intellect, but also touches and moves them emotionally.