Trembling horizons: Olafur Eliasson returns to Turin with six new immersive installations

Light experiments for the exhibition Shaking horizons at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, 2022. Photo Tegan Emerson I Courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson does an encore. While the great exhibition of Palazzo Strozzi, the Scandinavian artist conquers Turin with a new series of installations. Lights and colors transform the Manica Lunga of Castello di Rivoli into an immersive landscape, which plays with the senses, space and time, challenging the perceptions of the public. “In Shaking horizons “, says the curator Marcella Beccaria, “Eliasson invites us to open our gaze beyond the boundaries of the visible, from the vertigo of deep space to the emotion of encountering ourselves and our inner landscapes. By involving body and mind, his works contribute to making perceptible the role of each one in the production of reality and in the construction of this unstable present ”.

In Olafur Eliasson’s studio, testing the light projections, 2019. Photo Maria Pilar Garcìa Ayensa / Studio Olafur Eliasson

In the Kaleidorama beams of electric light are reflected in water basins and lens systems, giving rise to worlds of lines, shapes and motifs to travel and inhabit. Different themes or moods characterize the individual installations, from Curious Kaleidorama and the reflective, hesitant, powerful one, up to Living Kaleidorama and to Memory of the Kaleidorama. Hybrid and mutant objects, i Kaleidorama they are the result of the latest experiments conducted by Eliasson in Berlin and arise from a cross between the optical devices of the kaleidoscope and the panorama. These works “use the mirror effect of the kaleidoscope to evoke panoramic or landscape spaces that seem larger than the physical place in which they are shown”, explains the artist: “They open up new horizons thanks to their mirrored surfaces, opening up spaces where they meet waves, horizon lines, reflections, bands of diffracted light in the colors of the visible spectrum, and multiplied shadows, yours and that of other visitors. By staying inside the Kaleidorama, it feels like facing time as it unfolds. It is an opportunity to reconsider our sense of proportion and time, like looking at images from a telescope, a deep space at the edge of our imagination ”.

Light experiments for the exhibition “Horizons trembling” at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, 2022. Photo Tegan Emerson I Courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson

The sensorial dimension meets ecological demands – another central theme in Eliasson’s research – in the work Your non-human friend and navigator, which marks the culmination of the Turin itinerary. Partly suspended in the air, partly lying on the floor, the installation consists of driftwood, trunks transported by the sea and worn down by the action of the elements that the artist has collected on the beaches of Iceland, where remains of timber often landed from distant countries. A magnet orients the suspended part of the work along the North-South axis, while on the ground the thin veils of watercolor applied to the wood evoke the action of water and the currents that drove it for thousands of kilometers. “The work of Olafur Eliasson contains echoes of Arte Povera, in particular of Giuseppe Penone, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Giovanni Anselmo and Marisa Merz”, observes the director of the museum Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: “In his art, procedural thought and ecological of the Sixties is linked to the contemporary vision through an organic development “.

Olafur Eliasson, Navigation star for utopia, 2022. Photo Jens Ziehe

In progress at Castello di Rivoli until next March 26, Shaking horizons it finds a natural appendix in the museum’s collections, where the artist has already exhibited twice: in 1999, on the occasion of his first exhibition outside Scandinavia, and in 2008 during the Turin Biennale. This is testified by a couple of site-specific installations, set up in the environments for which they were originally conceived: Your circumspection disclosed (1999) in the mezzanine of the Manica Lunga e The sun has no money (2008) in the 18th century vaulted room.

Light experiments for the exhibition “Horizons trembling” at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, 2022. Photo Tegan Emerson I Courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson

Read also:
“In your time”. The great exhibition of Olafur Eliasson in Florence is starting
In Real Life: Olafur Eliasson at the Guggenheim in Bilbao

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