Olafur Eliasson: Volcanoes and Shelters

Because of his work in several media, including installation, painting, film, and photography, I’ve always admired and felt the “filmic” qualities of Mr. Eliasson’s work. His public and contextual installations in particular prompt us to question the ways in which we interpret art and engage with the world, particularly when he draws ambiguous boundaries between the two.

Volcanoes and Shelters, a mixed-media installation including photography, is no exception. I am thinking in particular of the photo series grid of Icelandic houses and shelters. Each photograph, contextualized beautifully against the famous Icelandic landscape, looks like it is about to start a film. I imagine easily a couple fighting cogently (à la Bergman) or a dream sequence (à la Sally Potter). In stripping away the story and leaving only the context, Eliasson masterfully prompts us to imagine something where there is nothing.

Olafur Eliasson: Volcanoes and Shelters was at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and at the Neugerriemschneider.