press release

Olafur Eliasson is the third and final artist in ARKEN’s three-year series of UTOPIA exhibitions. This autumn, Eliasson is contributing a large installation made especially for the museum’s most striking gallery, the 150-meter long Art Axis.

Eliasson is arguably one of the most important artists working today. His works – "experiments" in his own term – range from photography to installation, sculpture and, most recently, film. In 1995, he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, where he conducts his experiments in light, colour and natural phenomena like fog and waves, testing how physical motion and the interaction between body and brain influence our perception of the world around us. A central idea of his is to make us, the viewers or "users" of his works, explore the conditions for our perceptions through individual experience, causing us to re-examine our concepts of what it means to be and act in the world.

The classical utopia programmatically lays out a vision of an ideal society as the writer has devised it. In contrast, Eliasson works to visualize the utopian potential inherent in an individual’s relation to his or her surroundings.

In Eliasson’s own words: “For me Utopia is tied to our ‘now’, to the moment between one second and the next. It constitutes a potential that is actualized and transformed into reality; an opening where concepts such as subject and object, inside and outside, proximity and distance are thrown up in the air only to be defined anew. Our sense of orientation is challenged, and the coordinates of our spaces, collective and personal, have to be renegotiated. Mutability and motion lie at the core of Utopia.”

only in german

UTOPIA - Olafur Eliasson