Olafur Eliasson’s thought-provoking installations, photographs, sculptures, and architectural projects explore the relationship between individuals and their surroundings, hosting a range of self-reflective activities.
At the centre of the exhibition is an arrangement of new compass works. Suspended from the ceiling, each compass is composed of an element from the artist’s studio in Berlin (a piece of driftwood, a fragment of meteorite, a concave mirror) and a magnet that directs the compass towards the north. These works provide an inventory of forms and materials that have been employed in Eliasson’s body of work, linking Eliasson’s interest in navigational instruments with the studio processes through which an idea finds its way from initial felt hunch via research and experimental set-ups to final realised work.
A series of watercolours and glass works explore the effects of transparency and layered combinations of colour. In the watercolours, thin washes of translucent colour overlap to produce additional hues. In the glass works, superimposed panes of coloured glass with circular cutouts translate the transparency and layering of the watercolours into shallow three-dimensional space. A number of glass works harbour a trace of Greenland in the form of specially handcrafted sheets of glass that incorporate glacial rock our into their raw material.
Outside the foundation, a landscape work traces lines directly onto the lawn, suggesting the plan for a future park or building or structure. Eliasson says: ‘It is deeply inspiring for me to exhibit in the almost domestic environment of the Foundation De 11 Lijnen in the village of Oudenburg, Belgium. Encountering artworks in such a space is an experience of great intimacy and hospitality. It brings tranquillity and a contemplative quality to the artworks shown there, and offers an opportunity to be slow, to focus, and to take a deep breath, to step back from the highly optimised, commodified ways of looking in the world today.’