‘’TO SEE YOURSELF SEEING…’’

You are going to a museum, expecting to see varıious art objects. However, you are mistaken; what you see – or what you experience- is the unity of perception rather than an object.

The objects of contemporary art come to be seen in a different way in contrast to traditional art objects. In the field that provides flexibility for ‘’everybody can be an artist’’ or ‘’everything can be an artwork’’, you might see an object what is inappropriate but also something that you’d never expect to see in a museum. What if the artist tells you another story; “Beyond what you see here, see yourself seeing.’’

‘’ You could say that I am trying to put the body in the mind and the mind in the body.’’
Olafur Eliasson who is a conceptual artist that emphasizes the interpretation of experience itself is a paradox in his artworks due to using natural elements or even natural fragments. This paradox underlies in his core idea, thus he includes that ‘’ You could say that I am trying to put the body in the mind and the mind in the body.’’ Indeed, in the back of the approaches lies creating fragments of the nature or the simulation of the nature and using the main elements of the nature like water, soil, air and fog which are inherited from modern philosophy.
The major figure of modern philosophy, Kant mentions that the marvelous human gaze towards the nature creates a sensation of almightiness beyond perception. He also puts the human being in the center of the nature. In fact, all of our experiences and senses are filtered through our interpretation; through ourselves.
From our manner of perception to the artworks that we find beautiful, this ‘’Glass of Kant’’ is not only the reference spot of our experience but also it is the biggest factor of the our interpretation results. In sum, this glass is made with the social, cultural bases of human and a code that the habitat accompanies with. On the other hand, it is the cruces of experimentation of the things and everything must pass through this filter as well.
In fact, it is an inevitable fact that these interpretations shape our experience as much as we interpret our experiences. Olafur creates his framework of conceptual art idea through the judgement of taste that is the core topic in the art critics, but also he focuses on the relation between the nature and art. Olafur also emphasizes the ‘dematerialization’-‘objectless’ idea of contemporary art and even minimalism.
He points at the subject which is beyond the painting or sculpture that you gaze- beyond an object- even beyond an interactive installation; our sensation is the only thing that can be perceived. You may easily infer this point when you look at the name of his artworks and exhibitions; Your Emotional Future, Your Uncertain Shadow, Feeling Things, Body as a Brain…
Olafur places the human and his/her experiences in his idea of perception of art, he also follows the same way in his practical processes. During the period of projecting and thinking process, dozens of multi-discipliner people are involved in the project as much as his team. Some of renowned people like Einar Thorsteinn and Sebastian Behmann are the architects whose names are frequently mentioned with Elliason. He also supports the collective production process by collaborating with scientists or with a designer during the process. The questions of ‘how an artwork should be posed’ or ‘how an art space should be fictionalized’ and ‘the problems with the museums and galleries’ are also evaluated at the same time. Indeed, the right installation rules are important as much as to know how artwork and audience should get on together like in Louisiana Modern Art Museum, which is his first solo exhibition that can be visited between August 20th – January 1st 2015 .

Olafur Eliason’s art journey which started at the Royal Collage of Art Copenhagen, embraces the Turkish visitors with Istanbul Modern’s “The Past and The Future” exhibition, a piece of artwork (Red Emotional Globe) he brought into his contemporary arts collection.

Merve Deniz

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