Olafur Eliasson: An Interview

Video Data Bank

1998 | 00:24:28 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Hi8 video

Collection: Interviews, On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Installation, Interview, Photography, Sculpture, VDB Interviews, Visiting Artists Program, Visual Art

Berlin-based Danish artist Olafur Eliasson complicates and simulates perception through his installations, sculptures, and photographs. He has created disorienting artificial illuminations and reproduced natural phenomena such as clouds, glaciers and the sun through large-scale, high-tech installations.

Eliasson discusses his Scandinavian origins and the way his background led him to develop his methods and concerns fairly autonomously within the art world in Cologne, where he staged his first show -- a rainbow -- in a garage. The artist insists in this interview that he is not defined oppositionally with reference to anything, giving him a unique relationship with predecessors like James Turrell and Robert Morris, and “art history” more generally. Many aspects of his work come up in this interview, though one of the primary focuses is the particular frame of reference the work inhabits. Such a discussion involves its relation to a history of ideas, the systematic thinking of non-commodities like vision, the political value of the Romantic, and the conflict between “art” and experience.

Interview by James Rondeau, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1998 and re-edited in 2007.

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