On the occasion of Saastamoinen Foundation’s acquisition of the site-specific work Pentagonal mirror tunnel by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art is presenting a selection of the artist’s artworks. Pentagonal landscapes shows through 8th February to 21th May 2017.
Pentagonal mirror tunnel situates the viewer in relation to her own image, the exhibition space and a view of the local Tapiola forest. In the words of the artist: “Pentagonal mirror tunnel is an amplifier for you and your surroundings. When you stand in a line with any two of the mirrors, you see yourself, and anyone else sharing the space, from unexpected angles. You see yourself seeing yourself seeing” – Olafur Eliasson.
”The way in which Olafur Eliasson’s work engages in dialogue with the viewer, as well as its setting, is exceptional. The piece is both arresting and surprising, as it changes depending on the time of day or the season. I’m sure our diverse audiences will find the work both compelling and delightful. It is indeed a rare treat to acquire a permanent display piece made specifically for EMMA and by an artist of such calibre as Olafur Eliasson. We are grateful for the Saastamoinen Foundation for making this possible.” - Pilvi Kalhama, Museum Director.
Pentagonal landscapes is a continuation of the museum’s exhibitions of contemporary art, which display diverse perspectives on topical themes. Olafur Eliasson is a conceptual artist who works in a wide range of media, including installation, painting, sculpture, photography and film. The works included in the presentation represent many of the key themes of Eliasson’s art practice: light, colour, optics, mirrors, architecture, navigation and landscape. Most of the works were completed within the past five years.
Olafur Eliasson’s art arises from his interest in perception, bodily experience, motion and a sense of oneself. Experimentation, collaboration and an interest in geometry, physics and weather are all part of Eliasson’s oeuvre. In speaking of his studio, Eliasson often uses the term reality producing machine.
Created specifically for EMMA and completed this year, Pentagonal mirror tunnel is an installation consisting of five mirrors in a pentagonal arrangement. Spectators, upon entering the installation, can observe both themselves and the space of the tunnels formed by the mirrors. The mirrors each show one segment of the world by individually reflecting a slice of the museum gallery as seen from a certain angle. The concept of the artwork alludes to an aesthetic principle of Chinese and Japanese gardens in which elements of the surrounding landscape are incorporated visually into the garden’s own structure.
In addition to the collection piece, the presentation includes nine works ranging from watercolours to a video, photographic series, sculptures and a light projection, all of them linked in various ways with the experience of the landscape. The themes of space and perception are the common thread running through the entire presentation.
Eliasson continually returns to Iceland, where his almost cartographic photographic project has resulted in hundreds of photographs of glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, volcanoes and caves. The three photographic series at EMMA feature hot springs, volcanoes and huts. Land and landscape views are also thematically present in a large piece made with magnets and driftwood found on the coasts of Iceland. Always aligned along the north-south axis, the work is part of Eliasson’s series of compass artworks in which he explores orientation, mapping and navigation.
Olafur Eliasson is an artist who believes that art is capable of changing the world. Eliasson’s works have been described as catalysts for both stimulating the spectators’ perception and for evoking in them an awareness of that perception within space.
Since 1997, his solo shows have appeared in major museums, such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Tate Modern and the Venice Biennale. Eliasson’s projects in public spaces include The New York City Waterfalls (2008); Cirkelbroen (The Circle Bridge), Copenhagen (2015); and Ice Watch, which brought melting icebergs from Greenland to Copenhagen in 2014 and to Paris on the occasion of the COP21 climate conference in 2015.
Established in 1995, his Berlin studio today numbers about ninety craftsmen, specialised technicians, architects, archivists, administrators, and cooks. They work with Eliasson to develop and produce artworks and exhibitions and on archiving, research, and communications.
In 2014, Eliasson and long-term collaborator Sebastian Behmann founded the international office for art and architecture Studio Other Spaces to focus on interdisciplinary and experimental building projects and works in public space. Since 2012, Eliasson has directed the social business Little Sun, together with engineer Frederik Ottesen, which produces and distributes solar lamps for use in off-grid communities.
A catalogue will be published to accompany Pentagonal landscapes including texts by Juhani Pallasmaa, Riikka Stewen and a foreword by Päivi Talasmaa.
Päivi Talasmaa, Chief Curator, EMMA
email@example.com, +358 50 511 4206
Olafur Eliasson: http://kuvat.emma.museum/kuvat/Lehdistokuvat-Press/Olafur+Eliasson/
Olafur Eliasson: Pentagonal landscapes, 8 Feb. – 21 May 2017
EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Exhibition Centre WeeGee, Ahertajantie 5, Tapiola, Espoo
P.O. Box 6661, 02070 Finland
EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of Finland’s central art museums. Located in Tapiola, Espoo, EMMA’s collection and exhibition programme profiles Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art as well as design. EMMA’s exhibition spaces – the largest in Finland – are situated in the architecturally impressive WeeGee building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. The modern architecture adds to the experience-focused presentation of the changing exhibitions and permanent collections of EMMA, the Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.